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139 bodies recovered from Nigerian plane crash site

Some 139 bodies have been recovered from the site of the crashed Nigerian passenger plane on the outskirts of the commercial city of Lagos as at Monday, the second day of rescue operations at the site, according to the Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Dr. Alexandra Bankole

Dr. Bankole told journalists at the scene of the crash that rescue work would resume at 8am local time Tuesday,

”The reason we will resume tomorrow is that we have not retrieved all the bodies listed on the flight’s manifest. We hope to do that tomorrow (Tuesday) before noon and, hopefully, end the operation,” he said, as the second day of rescue work ended at 7pm local time..

According to the manifest, 146 passengers and six crew members were on the flight from the capital city of Abuja to Lagos when it crashed, some 11 nautical miles to the Murtala Mohammed Airport.

Meanwhile, the General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Osanyintolu, has said many of the bodies recovered were burnt beyond recognition and would need DNA testing for identification.

He said the recovered bodies were being taken to the morgue of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).

Dr. Osanyintolu said all the three building affected by the crash would be pulled down after the rescue work, while those displaced will be relocated to a nearby relief camp and the entire area fumigated to avoid any epidemic.

NEMA is leading the rescue work that also includes officials of LASEMA, Red Cross, Federal Road Safety Corps and security agencies.

On Monday, the site of the crash was better secured than on Sunday, when rescue workers could not gain access to the site for over two hours due to the huge number of people who besieged the scene.

Armed troops and policemen erected a security cordon around the site.

President Goodluck Jonathan visited the site, along with Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar and Aviation Minister Stella Oduah, among others.

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