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79 people rescued from collapsed building in Chile
Concepcion (Chile), Mar 3 (IANS):
Published on 3 Mar. 2010 11:52 PM IST
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Seventy-nine people were rescued from the ruins of a building here that collapsed last weekend during the earthquake that left at least 795 dead in central and southern Chile, an official said. The head of the firefighting team, Juan Carlos Subercaseaux, told reporters that seven bodies were also recovered from the rubble of the Alto Rio apartment building in the central part of Concepcion, one of the cities most heavily damaged by the quake. At first, authorities feared that about 100 people could have died when the structure collapsed during the magnitude-8.8 temblor that reduced it to a pile of cement chunks roughly three stories high. Firefighters, who worked for several weeks in Haiti after the earthquake that devastated that Caribbean country Jan 12, began working in Concepcion the day after last Saturday’s catastrophe. Concepcion, 515 km south of Santiago, has been the scene of looting in the wake of the earthquake, a situation that forced authorities to place the city under military control and an 18-hour curfew, which began Tuesday at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, The death toll from Saturday’s 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile has reached nearly 800, the National Emergency Office said Wednesday. Officials say the tally of 799 dead is likely to increase in coming days as search-and-rescue crews dig into collapsed buildings and discover more bodies. While that work continued, officials also dealt with another pressing problem: looting and lawlessness in areas of central and southern Chile. A curfew was set from 6 p.m. Tuesday until noon Wednesday.

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