Nigeria: Church obstructed rescue, lives lost

AP News
Posted: Sep 19, 2014 4:18 AM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Nigeria's emergency agency says lives were lost as church officials prevented workers from rescuing victims at the scene of a collapsed building in Lagos.

Most victims were South African.

Spokesman Ibrahim Farinloye of the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency tells The Associated Press that a multi-story shopping mall and guesthouse at televangelist T.B. Joshua's Synagogue, Church of All Nations collapsed at 12:44 p.m. on Friday but rescue workers did not get full access until after 5 p.m. Sunday.

He says 80 bodies were recovered and 131 survivors were saved by the time the operation ended at 3:35 p.m. Thursday.

Banning Straws
John Stossel

Farinloye said Friday that rescuers lost critical hours when most lives are saved.

Some rescue workers were attacked by church members who also smashed the camera of a TV journalist.