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Mexico Arrests Owner of School Where 26 Died in 2017 Quake

Volunteers and rescue workers search for children trapped inside at the collapsed Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City, Sept. 19, 2017.

Mexican police have arrested on manslaughter charges the owner of a Mexico City school that collapsed during a devastating 2017 earthquake, killing 19 children and seven adults, authorities said Saturday.

Ernestina Godoy, the attorney general of Mexico City, said officers apprehended Monica Garcia, owner of the Enrique Rebsamen school, in a restaurant in the capital Saturday morning after receiving an anonymous tip.

"We arrested her," Godoy told a news conference. "The crime is manslaughter," she said, noting that police searched dozens of houses over several months.

The 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck central Mexico on Sept. 19, 2017, killed 355 people in the capital and the surrounding states. The school tragedy became one of the most powerful symbols of the quake's human cost.

Authorities had issued a reward of 5 million pesos ($262,000) for information leading to Garcia's capture.

Garcia could not immediately be reached for comment.

Experts and witnesses told Reuters shortly after the quake that the school in southern Mexico City buckled under the weight of floors added over the years with scant steel support.