Haiti school building collapse toll touches 30 (Lead)

November 8th, 2008 - 8:31 am ICT by IANS  

Port-au-Prince, Nov 8 (DPA) The death toll in the school building collapse in the Petion Ville suburb of Haitian capital Port-au-Prince Friday has touched 30, while more than 100 were injured, Haitian Radio Metropole reported.The Evangelical Promise school in the area of Nerette collapsed at around 10 a.m. Friday, with some 700 students inside, the report said. The three-storey school educated students from kindergarten to middle school.

The children were in their classrooms at the time of the collapse, Michaele Gedeon, president of Haiti’s Red Cross told CNN. “The whole school collapsed on the kids,” she said.

The cause of the collapse was not known.

“We are having difficulty removing students from the rubble because we don’t have heavy duty search-and-rescue equipment,” said Alex Claudon, also of the Red Cross. He said the number of casualties could be very high.

Gedeon wasn’t at the site, but said she could hear rescuers calming down injured students as she coordinated emergency efforts over the phone.

“On the phone you can hear so many children crying … and saying, ‘This one is dead, that one is dead’,” Gedeon told CNN.

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