Thirty-seven people, including 32 children, have been confirmed dead after the collapse of a school in the southern Mexico City borough of Coyoacán during yesterday’s 7.1-magnitude earthquake. More victims remained buried beneath rubble.
A section of the Enrique Rébsamen school in the Coapa neighborhood came down in the powerful quake that struck at 1:14pm.
Rescue workers including members of the military and Civil Protection agency and volunteers have managed to rescue many of those who were trapped in the wreckage but there are fears that the death toll will rise further as they continue to work to clear the scene. Thirty people remain missing.
Distressed parents arrived at the school after the collapse, desperately seeking news of their children.
Around six hours after the quake struck, one girl reportedly used the remaining battery life on her cell phone to send a WhatsApp message to her parents, saying that she and four other children were trapped but alive.
They were among a dozen who were rescued last night.
The newspaper El Universal reported today that signs of life from an eight-year-old girl were detected just after 9:00am but she was trapped in a confined space and still hadn’t been rescued.
The girl asked for water and said that she was trapped in a small space, complicating rescue efforts.
Members of the Topos de Tlatelolco (Tlatelolco Moles) rescue brigade, who have won acclaim for their ability to rescue survivors from beneath rubble, are currently working to free her.
Several other rescued children were transferred to a local hospital.
The death toll at the school is the highest for a single site in Mexico City where 45 buildings collapsed and close to 100 deaths have been confirmed.