Synagogue Church Members Prevent Access to Collapsed Building, Assaults Journalist, Emergency Workers
In a bid to play down the collapse of a building in the Premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, members of the Church yesterday prevented emergency workers from gaining access to the site of the collapsed building. They also barred Journalists who thronged the location from covering the incident.
The move by the church members initially hampered rescue efforts as they attacked officials of the emergency services who were there to rescue victims.
“The church members have been very aggressive and hostile to us; they attacked us and we had to withdraw our services. I was attacked, the officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency and the General Manager of LASEMA were also attacked. We were not hurt and our equipment was not damaged. This was, however, because we quickly left when they attacked us. We are still waiting to settle before we resume our job,” an emergency service worker said.
It took almost an hour to calm the aggressive and hostile church members before rescue efforts were allowed to resume.
But while rescue workers were eventually allowed to do their work, some young men suspected to be members of the church, also barricaded the entrance of the church preventing motorists other than ambulances from gaining access to the premises.
The men mobbed and assaulted a photojournalist working for NTA, smashing his camera. They also molested other reporters and individuals who tried to take pictures of the scene.
It was not until about 9pm that some journalists eventually gained access to the site. Some of tem confirmed that that only two of the building floors were visible as the remaining had been buried.
The six-storey building which was said to be under construction collapsed around 1pm on Friday with no fewer than 50 persons feared dead.
The building, which was under construction, was initially a two-storey building before the addition of four new floors which were under construction.
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