Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Second school collapse hits Haiti

At least nine people were injured when a school building partially collapsed in Haiti - days after a similar incident killed more than 90 people.

Officials said most of the students were out in the playground when the collapse happened at the private school in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

A witness said the cave-in left chunks of wall scattered on the ground.

The accident comes less than a week after the deadly collapse at La Promesse College in Petionville.

Rescuers have now ended a search for survivors at that site.

Crews have cleared the wreckage, uncovering the remains of those trapped inside.

'No cement'

The second collapse occurred at the Grace Divine school, in the Canape Vert part of the capital.

The concrete roof was sagging and there were clear cracks in the remaining walls, AFP news agency reported.

Two students were taken to hospital with serious injuries while another seven had minor injuries, an official told the Associated Press news agency.

Haitian authorities have blamed the collapse of the Petionville school on poor construction - and indicated that the second one could have the same cause.

"It is the same kind of construction we have seen in Nerettes [in Petionville]," said Eucher Luc Joseph, secretary of state for public safety.

"It is construction with practically no cement, no iron. It has been built in total violation of regulations."

The owner of the Petionville school has been arrested.

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