Mexico quake: Rescuers try to reach girl buried alive under school rubble

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (C-R) tours Jojutla, Morelos state, Mexico, late Wednesday after the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that rocked central Mexico a day earlier. Rescuers are digging in rubble from a schoolhouse looking for missing children. Photo by Mexican Presidency/EPA-EFE/Handout

By Doug G. Ware – UPI

Rescuers looking for survivors beneath a collapsed schoolhouse in Mexico City are trying to pinpoint the location of a girl who’s alive — but buried — beneath the debris, officials said Thursday.

Emergency workers have been at the site of the Colegio Enrique Rebsamen school since shortly after the 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck on Tuesday afternoon. Nearly two dozen children have been found dead there, and several remain unaccounted for.

“At this moment we know that at least one girl is alive inside,” Admiral Jose Luis Vergara told Foro TV Thursday.

It’s believed the girl is 12 years old, and temperature readings taken at the site also suggest that two others might also be alive under the debris.

Rescuers have been racing to find survivors beneath the school, located in Mexico City’s southeast.

At least 250 people are dead in the quake’s aftermath — a toll that rose slightly from Tuesday to Wednesday — and scores more are injured.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said late Wednesday night the top priority is finding survivors. He said more than 50 people have so far been rescued.

Dozens of buildings have been flattened by the earthquake around central Mexico. It struck Tuesday, on the 32nd anniversary of a 7.0-magnitude quake that killed thousands in and around Mexico City in 1985.