UN Building Blast: Authorities Begin Release of Corpses
ABUJA, September 02, (THE WILL) - Police and health authorities in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday began releasing bodies of victims of the recent suicide blast that nearly razed the United Nations building. The bodies had been reportedly held in hospitals for days to ensure smooth investigation into the blast.
Tayo Haastrup, spokesman of the National Hospital, Abuja, where most of the slain bodies were deposited, had said yesterday that adequate time was needed to clear all doubts before relatives could retrieve the bodies, because the process involved the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health, the Nigerian Police and the UN. "We are still waiting for the police to bring the coroner report. So, nobody is delaying the release of corpses; we all want to do that on time," he had explained in defence of accusations that the delay was unnecessary.
However, Police and hospital sources have now greenlighted the desire of bereaved families to take bodies of their relatives from hospitals for funerals. Two victims have already been buried.
Spokesperson of the Police in Abuja, Moshood Jimoh, said the Force and UN authorities have, in addition, established information desks in “select places where people can obtain facts and describe identities of their relatives, particularly those working with the UN or those who visited the building before the attack.”
Also confirming the development, UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Daoda Toure, said that bodies are now being released for burial based on the family decisions and religious beliefs.
A total of nine people working with the UN and its agencies were identified among the dead by the UN officials dispatched to Nigeria from New York. But three corpses were yet to be identified at press time. Also, family of the only Norwegian casualty in the blast are yet undecided over whether to bury him relative in Nigeria or in his native country.