JOHANNESBURG – 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.
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.