Rescue workers in Mexico have managed to pull distraught children alive from the rubble of their collapsed primary school following Tuesdays’ deadly earthquake.
The girl was found by rescuers in the debris at the Enrique Rebsamen school in a southern area of the capital, where 20 children were killed.
Foro TV reported that rescuers spotted the child and shouted to her to move her hand if she could hear them, which she did.
A search dog subsequently entered the wreckage and confirmed she was alive.
Hours later the crews were still working to free her, as images of the rescue effort were broadcast on TV screens nationwide.
Rescuers desperately tried to find other survivors inside the building (AP)
Workers in neon vests and helmets used ropes, pry-bars and other tools, frequently calling on the anxious parents and others gathered around to be silent while they listened for any other voices from beneath the school.
At one point, the workers lowered a sensitive microphone inside the rubble to scan for any noise or movement.
A rescuer said they thought they had located someone, but it wasn’t clear who.
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Volunteer Carlos Licona said: ”It would appear they are continuing to find children.”
So far, 11 people have been rescued at the primary school, where two children and one adult remain missing.
More than 24 hours after the collapse, the debris being removed from the school began to change as crews worked their way inside: from huge chunks of brick and concrete, to pieces of wood that looked like remnants of desks, to a final load that contained half a dozen sparkly hula-hoops.
A volunteer rescue worker, Dr Pedro Serrano, managed to crawl into the crevices of the tottering pile of rubble and make it to a classroom, where he found no survivors.
He said: “We saw some chairs and wooden tables. The next thing we saw was a leg, and then we started to move rubble and we found a girl and two adults – a woman and a man.” All were dead.
He added: “We can hear small noises, but we don’t know if they’re coming from… the walls above, or someone below calling for help.”
The death toll for the 7.1-magnitude earthquake stands as at least 230, with the number of confirmed dead in Mexico City rising to 100 as the nation’s capital bore the brunt of the deaths and damage.
Dozens of collapsed buildings are the subject of rescue attempts, where firefighters, police, soldiers and civilians wore themselves out hammering, shoveling, pushing and pulling debris aside to try to reach the living and the dead.
By mid-afternoon, 52 people had been pulled out alive since the quake, Mexico City’s Social Development Department said, adding in a tweet: “We won’t stop.”