World

Emergency official: Lives lost as TB Joshua's church obstructed rescue from collapsed building

FILE- In this Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 file photo, Ibrahim Farinloye, spokesman for the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency, speaks on the rubble of a collapsed building belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, Nigeria. Lives were lost as church officials prevented workers from rescuing victims at the scene of a collapsed building in Lagos, Nigeria’s emergency agency said Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Most victims were South African, according to the South African government, which said at least 67 South Africans died and 17 appear missing in the rubble of the six-story building that had a shopping mall on the ground floor and guest rooms above. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

FILE- In this Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 file photo, Ibrahim Farinloye, spokesman for the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency, speaks on the rubble of a collapsed building belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, Nigeria. Lives were lost as church officials prevented workers from rescuing victims at the scene of a collapsed building in Lagos, Nigeria‚Äôs emergency agency said Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Most victims were South African, according to the South African government, which said at least 67 South Africans died and 17 appear missing in the rubble of the six-story building that had a shopping mall on the ground floor and guest rooms above. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.