Not all the cash and personal effects of the victims of last Sunday’s Dana Airline plane crash perished with them after all.
This is despite the huge fire that engulfed the plane immediately it crash-landed, killing all the 153 persons aboard the ill-fated plane.
THISDAY authoritatively learnt last night that rescue workers recovered about N1.1 million intact from the bodies and bags of the victims.
It was also gathered that various denominations of foreign currencies including £960, $7,286, €1,035, CFA5000, 15 Leons and 17 Cedis were recovered.
Meanwhile, the DNA test on the corpses and relations of the 29 identified bodies of victims of the crash will continue on Monday even as relations of the victims protested the delay in the release of the corpses.
Although the second day of the DNA test went as planned Friday, albeit slowly, most of the relations could still not do theirs thereby extending the exercise to Monday.
In total, the money and other personal effects of about 32 victims of the crash were recovered by rescue workers.
A source in the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), which coordinated the rescue efforts, said rescue workers used documents such as drivers’ license, ATM cards, office identity card and national identity cards to match some of the recovered personal effects with their owners.
The source further said the cash and other personal effects had been handed over to the police “for onward delivery to the nation’s Accident Investigation Bureau where relatives are expected to collect their loved ones’ properties.”
According to a breakdown of the recovered money and personal effects, which THISDAY gleaned Friday night, late Shauib Maimunat, who died alongside her children and four others, had N156, 000 on her. She also had her BlackBerry phone, Nokia 1600 phone, a brown wallet and a brown bag.
Late Maimuna Anyene had $1,000, N1000 and a purse containing debit cards of international and local banks, including that of Citi Bank of America.
Late Chinwe Obi had on her N21,000, an Olympus camera, one Samsung handset in her brown bag.
Another victim simply identified as Alhaji had N441,000 in a purse he carried before his death.
Late Mrs. G.C Akwaeze had in her bag N56,190; £960 and a Nokia phone.
Other victims whose cash were recovered included Garba Audu with N40, 500; Awodogan Olabinjo with N7,100 and a wrist watch; Tosin Anibaba with N4,180, and Ifekawa Jones with N15, 400.
One Dr. Jonathan had N14, 030, Blackberry and Nokia phones and M.C. Chukwudi with N8,400 and a Blackberry.
Late Prof. Obot had N91, 510, 1035 Euro and $455 while late Josephine Okechukwu had a wedding dress and other assorted wares recovered.
Speaking to THISDAY on the DNA test, Mr. Mike Uchegbu, said his family had to postpone their test to Monday due to the non-availability of the second donor to give the sample of his cells.
He said he explained to the hospital authorities that the expected donor does not reside in Lagos and because the test would not be conducted over the weekend, he would come in on Monday.
He blamed the ongoing delay on the hospital authorities’ sudden change in plans to double the number of donors despite asking for only one initially.
Mr. James Okafor, who lost his brother and whose injured in-law was hospitalised at the Surgical Emergency Ward of LASUTH, is in deep anguish.
While his in-law, Iloka Chima, was injured as he tried to escape from the debris of what used to be their residence, his brother, Nwabuwa, was not so lucky as he was burnt to death while asleep.
Shuffling the role of caring for his in-law and identifying the corpse of his late brother as well as submitting his tissue for DNA, James was philosophical about the compensation promised by Dana Airways when they paid a visit to Iloka Friday.
He said: “We were paid a visit by Dana Airways and their solicitors and they promised to compensate us for our loss. According to them, their visit was just one in a series of others they made to other displaced persons from the destroyed residential buildings. They also asked us to compile the list of what we had lost to the crash.”
Okafor added: “I do not know the monetary value of the compensation but all I know is that they should consider the three children my brother left behind before they calculate what to give to them. Since their father’s death, they have become my responsibility.”
Although he admitted having done the DNA test Friday, he, however, flayed the entire process describing it as slow-paced.
The Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof. David Wale Oke, had spoken of the need for the DNA to be carried out on all the corpses.
Although he said parents of the corpses could donate their cells for the DNA test, he also said siblings and children would also be admissible.