Families begin process of identifying charred remains of Mahdia Dorm Fire victims

Families begin process of identifying charred remains of Mahdia Dorm Fire victims

by Svetlana Abrams

Parents and relatives of at least three of the 19 victims of the Mahdia dorm fire, have identified the remains of their children.

DNA tests are being done to identify some of the other remains.

For Rihanna Jeffrey, who is the sister of Bibi Rita Jeffrey who died in the fire, it was a heart wrenching moment for the families as they continue to grapple with the loss of their children.

Fighting back tears, Rihanna Jeffrey told News Source that while the parents and relatives of two of the children that died, Belnisa Evans and Loreen Evans were able to positively identify their remains, her family was unable to do the same.

“Like I said, DNA tests [were done] and we are just awaiting the results now. We were taken to the memorial home to identify the bodies of Belnisa Evans, suspected to be, when we get the DNA, we will say whether it is her or not, were identified by the parents. Body of Loreen Evans was identified by the relatives, since her mother is hospitalized; and body of Bibi Rita Fiona Jeffrey was very difficult to identify because they were two identical face and same hair texture, and so forth. But we are still hopeful that out of the two that we see, it would be the remains of Bibi Rita Jeffrey,” Rihanna Jeffrey explained.

Rihanna Jeffrey

The young woman explained that while samples were taken from the parents of Belnisa Evans and Bibi Rita Jeffrey, the authorities were unable to take DNA samples from the mother of Loreen Evans, because she is currently hospitalized.

Noting that it is a difficult time for the family and friends of the fire victims, Rihanna Jeffrey, said those directly affected by the devastating fire, are still processing the loss, but they remain thankful for the support that they continue to receive.

“So far, the process is very satisfying. The Government is doing its best. The President, himself is doing as much as he can to at least bring this comfort and closure to the parents, and so far, the Government has the counsellors on the ground, counselling the parents, and I am really pleased with that and satisfied with it,” Rihanna Jeffrey said.

News Source understands that Government has already initiated the process of providing counselling to the bereaved parents.

The grieving woman said while the families demand justice, no amount of compensation will be able to bring back their loved ones.

“It was very tragic. Yes, we would call for justice but I don’t think compensation is enough for a person, a living person, to demand for a life to be replaced. I am not saying that the parents should not be given any financial support but what I am saying calling for compensation, it just looks like, you are selling your children,” she said.

Rihanna Jeffrey also called on the media to be sensitive to the situation, and understand that families are in deep mourning.

“I have been contacted by several media source, and some of the media personnel very professional, very sympathetic and so forth, but some are coming asking questions, and it seems like they are demanding for their questions to be answered. And at this time, I don’t think any parent is mentally wise, they might not be very stable, or in the righted mind, to answer your question,” she said.

The other dead victims are Adanye Jerome, Tracil Thomas, Lisa Roberts, Delecia Edwards, Lorita Williams, Natalie Bellarmine, Arriana Edwards, Cleoma Simon, Subrina John, Martha Dandrade, Mary Dandrade, Omerfia Edwin, Nickleen Robinson, Sherena Daniels, Eulander Carter, and Andrea Roberts.

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