By Ikeugonna Eleke
Relatives of corpses burnt in a mortuary gutted by fire in Enugwu Ukwu in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State have besieged it to identify the charred remains of their deceased loved ones.
The mortuary had gone up in flames on December 29 evening, and had burnt over 50 corpes beyond recognition.
A visit to the scene of the incident showed that about three days after the incident, relatives of deceased persons kept in the morgue were still trooping to the scene to identify the charred corpses of their loved ones.
It was however a pathetic sight as some of the relatives of the deceased cried profusely over their inability to identify the corpses of their loved ones among the charred remains assembled in a corner.
Fides also noticed that security presence at the scene had been enhanced, just as security officials had a field day trying to stop some relatives of the burnt corpses from harming themselves.
Over 50 corpses stored in the morgue were burnt beyond recognition on 29th December by a mystery fire, whose cause was yet to be ascertained.
A source said that few of the corpses which were identified had been transferred to Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching hospital in Awka, while the others had been assembled for their relatives to identify.
Mr Chima Eze, an engineer, said he came on the fateful day to see the remains of their brother, whose body was deposited two weeks back, but was denied access into the mortuary only to receive a call at 3pm when he was already at home that the Mortuary had gone up in flames.
He lamented that they had yet to identify his remains and were awaiting morticians from Awka to determine what cause of action to take concerning that.
Mr Sunday Onuorah whose brother was deposited two weeks ago, also lamented that the incident was double jeopardy for him and his relatives.
'We were still crying over the sudden death of my brother before this sad news of fire came.
We are trying to keep this from getting to our mother for the fear of losing her too as she is currently hypertensive,' Onuora said.
A source said the hospital management had been in various meetings and consultations on what steps to take about the unidentified remains. The source said the hospital may be left with no option than to ask relatives of the deceased to pick and bury any remains they could find.