, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 26 – At least 61 people are still listed as missing following the Westgate shopping mall attack on Saturday, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society database.
The society had initially said that 76 people were missing before later revealing that six of them had been reunited with their families.
A further nine bodies, which had been listed as missing persons, have been positively identified by relatives.
“Tracing services were carried out at the City Mortuary, Visa Oshwal Centre and Uhuru Park. Fifteen files were closed positively and the online platform for registering missing people remains up and running,” read a statement posted by Kenya Red Cross on Thursday.
Red Cross has also set up (+254) 714 820 219 as the hotline number where those with missing persons can report or call for updates.
This huge number comes at a time when Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku has claimed that the number of dead people inside the mall is ‘insignificant’.
Lenku said on Wednesday that the number of bodies that could be found at under the rubble of the collapse floors of the mall was not large and that it was mainly the terrorists.
However the figures by Red Cross, which has also raised concern over the insufficient flow of information surrounding the tragedy, paint a different picture.
“The increased public anxiety on account of missing persons, the disruption caused by the continued crisis and inadequate information flow has been a challenge,” announced the Kenya Red Cross.
Pathologists from the University of Nairobi have been assisting Kenyans in viewing and identifying bodies at the City Morgue.
Counselling and psycho social support services are still ongoing with the bulk of the counsellors stationed at the Visa Oshwal, City Mortuary, Aga Khan and MP Shah Hospitals.
“City Mortuary was set up to address the needs of relatives and friends of the deceased as they collect bodies while services at the hospitals target admitted patients,” read the statement posted on Twitter.