All the nine girls who perished in an arson attack at Moi Girls in Nairobi have been positively identified after DNA analysis samples matched those of their relatives. The nine families converged at Chiromo mortuary yesterday and were taken through body viewing session.
Chief Government Pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor said they had to use bones for DNA test because they could not get tissues or body fluids as the bodies were extensively burnt. “All the nine victims were positively identified through DNA. The bodies were burnt beyond recognition.
We were involved in this process and we had to finish it early enough because delays would only cause more pain to relatives,” said Oduor. Besides Oduor, government analysts and investigators were also involved in the identification process.
The autopsy process done showed they all died from inhalation of carbon monoxide and choking. National Disaster Management Unit (NDMU) deputy director Pius Masai said the guardians will be allowed to take bodies for final send off immediately they obtain burial permits.
The nine are Natalia Ng’ang’a, Nancy Thuku, Alakir Malong, Mary Jengo, Marcia Eunice, Hawa Aziz, Whitney Kerumbo, Esther Nima and Hannah Kimunto. He also requested all the nine families to make burial arrangements in a manner that would enable Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko to attend.
“Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko requested the families to organise burials in a manner he can attend because he wants to attend all the burials of the nine students,” he said. Emotions ran high as grief stricken families were taken through the body viewing session as part of the closure of coming to terms with the loss. Kenya Red Cross Society helped the family members to calm down and offered counselling and psychosocial support.
The Form One student implicated as having committed the act has since been charged in court. She is detained at Kilimani Police Station pending completion of investigations and she is expected back in court next week.
The student appeared at the Milimani juvenile court Wednesday over suspicions of starting the fire. Police said they are likely to prefer murder, arson and assault charges against the student once investigations are complete.
The prosecution told the court that the matter has raised public outrage and holding her in custody is good for her safety. The prosecution added that upon request by the police, the mother availed a mobile phone and a laptop, which are among items submitted for forensic audit.