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Tanker blast probe team starts mission

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has already formed the Morogoro fuel tanker blast probe commission, the Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, ParliamentaryAffairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled), Ms JenistaMhagama said yesterday.

She further said the commission had commenced its assignment and assured Tanzanians that after completing its undertakings, an official statement will be released to the public.

“We will release the official statement after the commission accomplishes its task as the Prime Minister has already given the job to them; the report of this commission will assist the government to take appropriate measures to relevant public institutions,” she said.

Speaking to reporters in Morogoro yesterday, the minister said they will also release the names of those who were injured in the inferno and are admitted to Muhimbili National Hospital(MNH) as well as Morogoro referral hospital for their relatives and other well-wishers to link up with them.

Meanwhile, confusion rocks the identification process of the victims as many people (up to five strangers) are appearing claiming to be relatives of each of the 13 patients who are unconscious at MNH.

To clear the air, the facility in collaboration with the Chief Government Chemist Laboratory Agency (GCLA) will conduct DNA tests to establish the real relatives of the victims.

MNH head of communications department, Mr Aminiel Aligaesha said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that originally the hospital issued a call to relatives to come forward and identify the victims.

“To our surprise, up to five people have emerged claiming to be relatives of one victim, but they could not recognise each other, and we therefore decided to team up with GCLA to settle these problems ,” he explained, adding: “Until now we have already taken samples for the 13 patients and 45 people who claim to be their relatives for DNA tests we will also use that to compare it with those who are deceased.”

About the condition of the victims, he said that among the 46 who were received, eight had died, 13 were in special wards and unconscious, and 25 were conscious and were in a normal ward.

The Manager for DNA services at GCLA, Ms Hadija Mwema, said for easy comparison, relatives who are considered for the tests include either parents or children of victims.

“For those who have lost their parents and do not have children, we will take samples of their close relatives like an uncle, aunt, sister or brother but I would like people to know that for best comparison close relatives are the best,” she said.

Reports have it that yesterday another victim succumbed to injuries sustained in the Saturday morning inferno, pushing the death toll to 76. Meanwhile, the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat on Monday commiserated with Tanzania following the tragedy.

The Arusha based Secretariat noted in a statement sent to President John Magufuli that it had received with great sorrow and pain the shocking news of the death and injuries of fellow East Africans in the weekend’s tragedy.

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Author: HILDA MHAGAMA

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