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Death toll rises to 90: Haitian school collapse
Port-Au-Prince (Haiti), Nov 9 (Agencies):
Published on 9 Nov. 2008 11:57 PM IST
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The death toll in the collapse of a ramshackle school in Haiti rose above 90 on Saturday after rescue workers uncovered a room full of dead, many of them children, officials said. Civil protection service head Alta Jean-Baptiste said there were 84 people confirmed dead and 150 injured as of noon. Another civil protection official, Michel Joseph Jr, said he had seen eight more bodies, bringing the count to 92. “We haven’t been able to get them out yet,” Joseph said as rescue workers arrived from the United States and the French Caribbean island of Martinique to help the ill-equipped and impoverished country and UN peacekeepers posted there search for survivors. Officials said 700 children were enrolled at the three-story La Promesse school, but it was not known how many were in the building when it caved in on Friday while class was in session. The disaster struck as the poorest country in the Americas struggled to recover from four tropical storms and hurricanes that killed more than 800 people and destroyed 60 percent of its crops in August and September. Rescuers worked frantically at the school site on the outskirts of Port-of Prince, the Haitian capital, bringing in a crane to lift blocks of concrete. Firefighters from Virginia and rescue workers from Martinique brought sniffer dogs. The search was set to continue for a second night.

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