50 killed and hundreds trapped in Haitian school collapse

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The church-supervised school called La Promesse Evangelique College (Promise) in Haiti’s capital city Port-au Prince, spontaneously collapsed killing 50 and trapping undetermined number of people, mostly attending school.

Frantic rescuers rushed to the scene to seek out 200 to 700 children suspected to be trapped in the rubble. The death toll is expected to rise. United Nations peace keepers (some Filipinos included) and Haitian Red Cross members were there to assist in finding and saving survivors.

According to reports, the building’s upper floor was under construction, but it was unclear whether this could be the cause of the collapse. It was said the building was repaired before.

Haitian President Rene Preval promised an investigation plus inspection of schools to ascertain the structural soundness of the school buildings.

Situated in the Caribbean, Haiti is among the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere and shoddy construction of buildings isn’t uncommon. This is an unfortunate situation on which countries like the Philippines can learn from. (Photo Credits: BBC: AP) =0=

UPDATE: As of Saturday, November 8, 2008, the death toll rose from 50 to 82.

November 12, 2008: A second school collapse partially damaged Divine Grace School, injuring 9 people, barely a week after the incident in Promessa School.

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