Mexican officials have declared there is no missing child at a collapsed Mexico City school that had become a focus of rescue efforts following this week’s deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, though an adult still may be alive in the rubble.
Navy Assistant Secretary Angel Enrique Sarmiento said that while there are blood traces and other signs suggesting that someone is alive, all the school’s children have been accounted for.
‘We have done an accounting with school officials and we are certain that all the children either died, unfortunately, are in hospitals or are safe at their homes,’ Sarmiento said.
The attention of many in Mexico and abroad had been drawn to the plight of a girl identified only as Frida Sofia, who was said to have been located alive under the pancaked school building and became a symbol for the hopes of thousands of rescuers working around the clock in search of quake survivors.
Multiple rescuers at the school site spoke of the girl, with some saying she had reported five more children alive in the same space. Yet no family members had emerged while rescue efforts continued and some officials had begun to say her identity was not clear.
Tuesday’s catastrophic quake killed at least 245 people in central Mexico and injured over 2,000. That included at least 21 children and five adults at the Enrique Rebsamen school in southern Mexico City. Nineteen children and sis adults died at the site, however.
Earlier Thursday, the navy announced it had recovered the body of a school worker from the school.
Mexican officials have declared there is no missing child at a collapsed Mexico City school that had become a focus of rescue efforts following this week’s deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, though an adult still may be alive in the rubble
Navy Assistant Secretary Angel Enrique Sarmiento said that while there are blood traces and other signs suggesting that someone is alive, all the school’s children have been accounted for
The attention of many in Mexico and abroad had been drawn to the plight of a girl identified only as Frida Sofia, who was said to have been located alive under the pancaked school building. Pictured: Workers hug during the search for Frida Sofia
Workers carry a tube during the search for students at Enrique Rebsamen school after an earthquake in Mexico City. Frida Sofia had allegedly told rescuers that another five children are beneath the rubble
Hero: Confusingly, a dog also named Frida (pictured), is helping rescuers search among the rubble in Mexico City. She has saved over 50 people in her career
Support beams are placed on the crumbling wall of a room during the search for students at the Enrique Rebsamen school after the earthquake in Mexico City
Relatives wait for news of their loved ones as they hug and cry next to a collapsed building after the catastrophic earthquake in Mexico City
More than 50 survivors have been plucked from several disaster sites in Mexico City since Tuesday afternoon’s 7.1-magnitude quake, leading to impassioned choruses of ‘Yes we can!’ from the first responders.
Eleven other children were rescued from the Enrique Rebsamen School, where students are aged roughly six to 15. Twenty-one children and five adults there were killed.
According to El Universal, Frida Sofia told rescue worker she was ‘thirsty’ when they spoke to her. She also said she could not move. But the paper also reported that – bafflingly – there was no girl of the name ‘Frida Sofia’ on the school’s register, despite the girl in the rubble responding to the name.
But just as it seemed rescuers were going to save the girl, they had to suspend their work this morning due to a collapse within the building’s debris, local media reported.
‘This area is evacuated because the building is at risk of falling. We are waiting for engineers who are going to evaluate… to see if we must knock it down,’ a soldier said in front of an abandoned building in Mexico’s central Roma neighborhood, one of the areas hardest hit by the quake.
Rescue workers also recovered the body of a woman from the ruins of the school earlier today.
Desperate: The relatives stand by and console each other as they await word of their missing loved ones
Rescue personnel have worked through the night and day in search of missing people at the school, which has students as young as first-graders enrolled, as well as across the city
So eager are they for news that some have set up tents and begun to serve drinks as they wait for word of their loved ones after the earthquake
Heave: Dozens of rescuers and volunteers can be seen pushing a gate up after the lethal natural disaster struck Mexico’s capital on Tuesday
A ladder is raised for search and rescue workers during search efforts at the school. ‘There’s a girl alive in there, we’re pretty sure of that, but we still don’t know how to get to her,’ Admiral Jose Luis Vergara said
A large piece of concrete is lifted from the disaster zone as marines and volunteers desperately hunt for Frida Sofia and the five other children she said are buried with her
The Mexican Navy issued a statement saying the 58-year-old woman had worked at there.
Meanwhile a dog – coincidentally named Frida – is helping rescuers search among the rubble in Mexico City. She has saved over 50 people in her career.
Even the official Twitter account for the country’s presidency has hailed the Mexican Navy Labrador a hero as she keeps digging for survivors with her special boots and goggles.
Another video shared to Twitter shows rescue workers trying to reach a little girl.
In a video of the school’s initial collapse, rescuers can be seen pulling the facade from the exterior of the school in an attempt to make the hole larger, as crying children can be heard.
One of the men reaches down and pulls a crying little girl out from the rubble, as a small boy is rescued moments later from the destroyed school building.
Rescue personnel worked through the night and day on Wednesday in search of at least three missing people at the school, which has students as young as first-graders enrolled.
Dozens died in the quake when the three-story building at the school collapsed into a pile of rubble, Felipe Puente of the Ministry of the Interior’s Civil Protection unit said earlier Wednesday.
Workers searched through the rubble for students and adults at the Enrique Rebsamen school late Wednesday night
Rescue personnel worked through the night Tuesday, day on Wednesday and into the early morning hours of Thursday in search of three missing people at the school, which has students as young as first-graders enrolled
Good dog: Frida has helped to rescue 53 people, and 12 of them in life-threatening situations, during her career. The elite life-saving pooch is now on the scene in Mexico City
A marine directs Frida as she searches among rubble. She previously won praise for her efforts during the devastating Oaxaca earthquake last month
Working only in artificial light and wreathed in dust, firefighters and paramedics continue to clear rubble after the quake in Mexico City. They are raising their arms to call for silence so that they can listen for the cries of trapped people
Firefighters (seen top-right quadrant of the photograph) scape a collapsed building in the glare of a spotlight in their continuing search for survivors in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City