The Lagos State Government is to turn the site of the June 3, 2012 Dana plane crash into a memorial of the victims of the accident.
Governor Babatunde Fashola said this during the presentation of 2013 budget proposal to the state’s lawmakers on Wednesday.
Fashola, who described the incident as unfortunate, said the decision to turn the site into a memorial was as a result of agreement with all stakeholders.
He said, “Our agreement to dedicate the crash site as a memorial in honour of the victims is being implemented on our side as clear directives have been given to the appropriate ministries and organs of government.
“Once again our hearts reach out to the families of the victims who were Nigerians and other members of the international community. We pray that time will heal their wounds and grief.”
The governor commended the rescue teams comprising operatives of state Emergency Management Agency, the Police, the state Traffic Management Agency, the National Emergency Management Agency and fire services, for being able to recover 150 bodies from the crash site.
He said, “Our gratitude goes to the Commissioner for Special Duties, who led the recovery efforts; our health personnel from the Commissioner for Health and members of his team, especially the Vice-Chancellor of LASU and the Medical Director of LASUTH, who worked with other experts to painstakingly sort, tag and process the bodies and prepare forensic samples for overseas analysis, which led to the positive identification of 141 bodies that have been released to the bereaved families for burial.
“I believe that this identification of over 94 per cent of the victims- and we are still working to conclude the rest- helped us to avoid a mass burial for the first time in our history of such human tragedy and I hope it will bring the bereaved families nearer to a closure.”
Fashola also commended the bereaved families for the “heroism, courage and understanding that they demonstrated at a time of immense personal losses and grief”.
He added, “They trusted us entirely and this helped us in no small way in the management of what was a very difficult process.”