A Consultant Pathologist, Prof. John Obafunwa, said on Friday that the bodies of the pilot and co-pilot of the Dana plane, which crashed on June 3, 2012, were incinerated in the post-crash inferno.
Obafunwa, Chief Medical Examiner of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, spoke at a coroner's inquest, while presenting the Final Pathology Report of the crash, dated Dec.22, 2012.
The pathologist, who was led in evidence by counsel to the Lagos State Government, Mr Akinjide Bakare, also presented post-mortem reports of 148 identified bodies and 170 Compact Discs containing dental and X-ray images of the bodies.
They were admitted by the court as Exhibits seven, eight and nine respectively.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 153 passengers and some residents of Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State, where the crash occurred, died.
Obafunwa, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU), said that series of post-mortem analyses were conducted on 152 bodies which were recovered from the crash site.
He said, however, that even after the exhaustive analyses the bodies of the American pilot, Capt. Peter Waxton, and his Indian co-pilot, Capt. Mahendra Rathore, could not be identified.
"We had a manifest of 153 people. Out of the 153, we were able to identify 144, leaving nine.
"I must say that from the manifest, at the end of the day, we could not identify the bodies of the pilot and the co-pilot.
"This was after a very exhaustive consultation and deliberation with our associate in the UK, but the bodies of the other crew members were identified," Obafunwa said.
Explaining the rationale behind the "missing" nine bodies, he said: "It is either these people were not on board the plane or that some other individuals used their tickets to board the plane.
"It is also possible that they were completely incinerated by the heat," the pathologist said.