School collapes in Haiti

Our internet has been out for a about two days.  Back on track now (kind of).  A school collapsed in town yesterday in Port-au-Prince.  Enoch was close by and was able to go see what was happening.  He said there was a class with 47 students and 45 were killed.  He saw several dead bodies being taken out of the actual building.  They were putting then into the back of pickup truck and driving them away like that.  We have heard today on the radio that the death toll is around  80.  There were at least 500 students in the school. 


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CNN) — Rescue workers in Haiti continued sifting through piles of rubble for signs of life Saturday as night fell over the grim scene where a school collapsed Friday.

 Volunteers in Petionville, Haiti, load a collapse victim into a Red Cross ambulance.
As many as 700 children were inside when College La Promesse Evangelique in Petionville, near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, collapsed about 10 a.m. ET Friday, officials said.

Some were in class, and others were on a playground, Haitian media reported.

Two uninjured children were pulled from the rubble Saturday and reunited with their families, said Rob Drouen, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Their rescue came hours after the death toll from the collapse climbed to 82 with the discovery of 21 bodies in a classroom, President Rene Preval said, according to Clarens Renois of the Haitian Press Network.

The bodies included a teacher and 20 students, Preval said, according to Renois.

A fire brigade team from Martinique with dogs discovered the two living children, Drouen said.

“Rescue operations are still under way,” Renois said.

About 100 to 200 students could be still trapped inside, Renois said. “Maybe they are alive; maybe they are dead.” 

However, Drouen said it was difficult to say exactly how many people were inside the school.

“Yesterday, there was a special event at the school, so there were not only pupils but family members and friends who were invited,” he said. “It’s very difficult to say how many people were in the school.”

At least one member of the Haitian Parliament has raised questions about whether the school was built for the number of students and teachers who were inside when it collapsed, Renois said. The official described the building as “not quite solid” with “weak construction.”

“This is a very weak construction,” he said. “The structure is really weak.”

Preval and Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis toured the disaster area. The Haiti Press Network quoted Preval as saying that he “heard and saw with my own eyes children appealing for help.”

Preval has since called for a review of building-construction guidelines.

The Haitian Civil Protection Bureau said that at least 100 people were injured.

Most of the students at the school ranged in age from 10 to 20, officials said, but some are younger. Haitian press reports said kindergarten, primary and secondary students attended the school.

“We are taking all necessary steps. The government has mobilized to save those who can be saved,” Pierre-Louis said.

Preval asked residents to stay away to allow police and rescue officials to do their work unimpeded.

Michaele Gedeon, president of Haiti’s Red Cross, said that while she was on the phone with rescuers trying to coordinate their efforts, she could hear the voices of distraught children.

“On the phone you can hear so many children, you know, crying, crying, and saying, ‘This one is dead; that one is dead,’ ” she said. 

About 50 to 60 people, 30 of them severely injured, were taken to Trinite Hospital in Port-au-Prince, said Isabelle Mouniaman Nara, the head of mission in the capital for Medecins sans Frontieres.

Another 150 patients were treated elsewhere, Nara said Friday night.

The situation at Trinite “is under control right now,” she said.

Trinite is the only hospital that is open in Port-au-Prince, Medecins sans Frontieres said. The other two, General Hospital and Hospital de la Paix, have been shut down by labor strikes.

The school is in an extremely poor part of town, and the roads are nearly impassable, Renois said. He also said an United Nations helicopter was unable to land.

The two-story school had an addition built in the rear over a 200-foot ravine, said Amelia Shaw, a journalist with United Nations TV who visited the scene. The steep hillside, she said, is covered with run-down houses and shacks on both sides.

The disaster happened when the second floor crumbled onto the first, Shaw said.

The U.S. Agency for International Development sent a Disaster Assistance Response Team, which arrived on the scene within hours of the collapse, the agency said in a statement.

U.S. Southern Command said Saturday that it will donate $10,000 in medical supplies to Haitian hospitals.

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2 Responses to School collapes in Haiti

  1. […] lives down the hill from the school, admitted that the situation was “terrible”, while RHFH Rescue Center had a friend close by who “was able to go see what was happening”: He said there was a […]

  2. […] pressi della collina della scuola, ha ammesso che la situazione era “terribile”, mentre RHFH Rescue Center [in] ci racconta di un amico che trovandosi nelle vicinanze “è riuscito a recarsi sul posto per […]

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