Accessibility links

Breaking News

9 Injured in Second Haiti School Collapse

Haitian authorities said a school has partially collapsed in the capital, injuring at least nine people, less than a week after another school collapse left dozens dead.

Officials said portions of the Grace Divine school in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Canape Vert came crashing down during a break Wednesday. As word of the incident spread, crowds of anxious parents rushed to the school, where emergency workers dug through rubble, searching for possible victims.

No one was trapped inside the building and there were no immediate reports of deaths.

The incident comes five days after a church-run school, La Promesse, in the Petionville area outside Port-au-Prince collapsed into a heap of debris, destroying nearby residences.

At least 93 people were killed and 150 others injured.

Emergency workers from the United States, France and Haiti removed bodies and made a final check for survivors Tuesday before bringing in heavy equipment to move large slabs of concrete.

Authorities said the owner of the school in Petionville, Protestant minister Fortin Augustin, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Wednesday and Thursday have been declared days of mourning for the victims of the first school collapse. Authorities have also called for flags to fly at half-staff over national administrative buildings and urged students to wear black armbands. Schools were called on to observe a minute of silence.

About 700 students were enrolled at the school. Officials do not know how many people were inside the building at the time of the collapse.

Residents had complained the school did not have the proper structural support, and officials say the top floor was under construction when the building caved in.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.