Remains of South Africans who died in the Nigerian building collapse have returned

Remains of 74 out of 85 South Africans who died in the Nigerian building collapse have returned. On September 12, 2014 the world was shocked by the news of the collapse of the guesthouse of the Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN)  in Lagos, Nigeria. Google+

Antonov Carrying Bodies of those who died in th Nigerian building collapseIn that disaster, South Africa saw the highest number of fatalities, out of a reported 115 fatalities – 85 were South Africans. Their bodies had remained in that country since that fateful day until today, Sunday November 16, 2016.

An Antonov 124 cargo plane carrying specialized trucks and the passenger jet carrying the repatriation team left South Africa for Lagos Nigeria on Saturday November 15, 2015 – later that evening took off from Lagos, Nigeria en route back to South Africa with 74 of 85 mortal remains.

The two aeroplanes landed at Waterkloof Airbase in Pretoria on Sunday morning November 16, 2014 ahead of the South African government organized memorial service. In that memorial service the names of the deceased were read out before the mourners and the families.

It is understood that some families received the remains of their loved ones there at Waterkloof Air Force base while in the coming days the rest of the bodies will be handed over to the families who will then organize private burials fro their loved ones.

The families will also be given back the belongings which their loved ones had taken with on their fateful trip to Nigeria to see Prophet TB Joshua.

The families were cautioned against viewing the severely decomposed bodies, Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi the bodies had to be decontaminated to ensure that no diseases were transported from one part of the world to the another.

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi was also quoted saying “You must remember that it has been more than eight weeks since the deaths occurred. The coffins came sealed in three layers of bags because of the conditions they are currently in”.

Talking about the identities of the deceased as well as the bodies that remain in that country, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said “The reason the Nigerian authorities were skeptical in returning the 11 remaining bodies was because they were not confident with the results of the DNA identification process”.


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