Yesterday a powerful 7.1 earthquake hit about 75 miles southeast of Mexico City. It was evident within the first hours of the quake that multiple buildings had collapsed throughout the city and that there would be a significant death toll from the quake. One of the buildings that collapsed was a school and the NY Times reports at least 30 children were killed:
Gustavo López recognized the boy’s clothes first.
His tiny frame, pulled from the wreckage, lay over the jagged pieces of what remained of the school. It was his 7-year-old son.
He sat in shock for hours, quietly trying to maintain strength for his 9-year-old daughter, who had escaped the school unharmed. He wondered how to tell her that her younger brother, also named Gustavo, was dead — one of at least 30 children who perished at the Enrique Rebsamen school after it collapsed in the earthquake that devastated Mexico on Tuesday, killing more than 200 people…
Volunteers worked throughout the night to rescue as many people as possible. CNN reports the entire neighborhood was focused on the effort.
A volunteer at the school told Mexican news outlet Imagen Noticias that the whole area has been transformed, with every person and every detail focused on saving what — and who — they can.
“Houses were turned into hospitals,” she said. “We brought shovels, spikes, first aid material.” She and her son have helped by digging into the debris. Construction workers from a nearby site came with their machines to assist.
“It was neighbors more than anything,” she said.
Video from the scene shows rescuers crawling between slabs of collapsed concrete which have been braced with wood.
There have been some children pulled alive from the rubble:
— CNN International (@cnni) September 20, 2017
But the Associated Press reports rescuers who risked their lives to climb into the structure also found bodies:
Volunteer rescue worker Dr. Pedro Serrano managed to crawl into the crevices of the tottering pile of rubble at the school. He made it into a classroom, but found everyone inside dead.
“We saw some chairs and wooden tables. The next thing we saw was a leg, and then we started to move rubble and we found a girl and two adults — a woman and a man,” he said. All were dead.
The death toll associated with the earthquake now stands at 225.