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Nigeria collapse: New DNA samples to identify remaining SA victims

Govt says the previous samples could not provide a positive match to the remaining 11 victims.

South African medical evacuation team work during the repatriation of the remains of victims of the Lagos church building collapse in Lagos, Nigeria. Picture: EPA.

PRETORIA - Government says fresh DNA samples have been collected from the families whose loved ones have still not been identified after the Nigerian building collapse.

More than 100 people died when a guest house at the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed in Lagos.

Eighty-one of those who perished were South Africans.

The remains of 74 of them were brought back on Sunday morning followed by an emotional ceremony as the bodies were handed over to their families for burial.

Government said that it was working as hard as possible to identify the 11 remaining bodies and have them repatriated as soon as possible.

Spokesperson Phumla Williams says that the new DNA samples had to be taken.

"There was no positive verification with the samples they had. We have been advised that fresh samples have been taken and will be given to the Nigerians to actually do the comparisons with the new specimens."