Children killed as school collapses in Mexico quake

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Thirty of their classmates and eight adults are still missing in the building, which like dozens of others has been turned into rubble.

Two adults were also killed when the primary school Colegio Enrique Rebsamen collapsed in Mexico City, said the country’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, who visited the scene.

Many children are believed trapped under the rubble of their school
Image:Many children are believed trapped under the rubble of their school

The 7.1 magnitude quake hit central Mexico hours after preparation drills were held on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people in Mexico City.

At least 216 people have been killed in Tuesday’s quake, including 117 in the capital, authorities confirmed.

At the school, TV pictures showed rescue teams working late into the night, using picks, shovels and their hands as well as heavy lifting gear in an attempt to find survivors.

Some buildings have completely collapsed

Video:Drone footage of Mexico quake damage

Education officials said 25 bodies had been recovered but three were pulled out alive.

Relatives said they had received a WhatsApp message from two girls inside.

“They keep pulling kids out, but we know nothing of my daughter,” said 32-year-old Adriana D’Fargo, whose seven-year-old remains missing.

Rescuers frantically try to move rubble after the 7.1 magnitude quake
Image:Rescuers frantically try to move rubble after the 7.1 magnitude quake

President Enrique Pena Nieto, after visiting the school, appealed for calm, saying: “The priority at this moment is to keep rescuing people who are still trapped and to give medical attention to the injured people.”

Earlier, panicked workers fled from office buildings and clouds of dust rose up from the crumbling facades of damaged buildings after the quake struck.

A graphic showing the intensity of the earthquake in different areas of Mexico
Image:A graphic showing the intensity of the earthquake in different areas of Mexico

As many as 44 buildings collapsed in Mexico City, according to mayor Miguel Angel Mancera.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred near Raboso in Puebla state, 76 miles (123km) southeast of Mexico City.

Rescuers, firefighters, policemen, soldiers and volunteers remove rubble and debris from a flattened building in search of survivors after a powerful quake in Mexico City on September 19, 2017
Image:Rescuers, firefighters, policemen, soldiers and volunteers remove rubble

Officials asked people not to smoke in the streets of Mexico City – which has a population of 20 million – warning of possible ruptured gas pipes.

Mexico City International Airport suspended operations, while electricity and phone lines were down in parts of the capital.

Rescuers display a placard reading 'Silence' as they hurry to free possible victims out of the rubble of a collapsed building after a quake rattled Mexico City on September 19, 2017
Image:Rescuers call for ‘Silence’ so they can hear any survivors in the rubble

The earthquake came less than two weeks after an 8.1 magnitude tremor in southern Mexico killed at least 98 people.

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