Mexican Family Mourns 11 Dead After Church Roof Falls at Baptism - NBC Chicago
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Mexican Family Mourns 11 Dead After Church Roof Falls at Baptism

Covered in dust and exhausted, the rescuers laid the bodies out on the same street where a party was meant to be held after the baptism

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    Mexico is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits on top of three major tectonic plates. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017)

    A child's baptism turned into tragedy when the roof of a church collapsed as a powerful earthquake shook central Mexico. Eleven members of a family died, including the 2-month-old girl being christened.

    The only survivors were the girl's father, the priest and the priest's assistant, the Archdiocese of Puebla said Wednesday. At least four minors were among the dead.

    "It was a scene of horror, sadness with most of the people inside the church dying," priest's assistant Lorenzo Sanchez told The Associated Press.

    Sanchez said those who survived moved to the edges of the church when the swaying started while those who died didn't have time to do so.

    Mexico Earthquake Interrupts Anniversary Interview of 1985 Quake Victim

    [NATL-DFW] Mexico City Earthquake Interrupts 1985 Quake Anniversary Interview

    Telemundo 39 reporter Norma Garcia was in Mexico City Tuesday interviewing a survivor of the catastrophic 1985 earthquake, where at least 5,000 people die, on its anniversary when a 7.1 magnitude temblor rocked the capital city.

    Towards the end of the interview, the siren of a seismic alert began to ring.

    Garcia, photographer Daniel Manrique and the woman being interviewed, Susana Irma Laguna Aburto, struggled to remain on their feet as they tried to move from the garden where they were shooting to a safer area.

    In Manrique's video, buildings can be seen moving, power lines swaying and cars jolting from side to side.

    None of the people in the video were injured in the quake.

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017)

    "One of the things they taught us is to stick to the firm walls of our church, which is old and its structure a bit deteriorated," he said.

    When the ground stopped shaking, people called for help using loudspeakers and residents of nearby communities quickly arrived in Atzala with shovels, pickaxes and chains to haul away rubble.

    They dug for hours through the crumbling remains of the Santiago Apostol church but found the 11 relatives had died.

    Covered in dust and exhausted, the rescuers laid the bodies out on the same street where a party was meant to be held after the baptism. They covered them with canvas to protect them from the rain.

    Family members of the dead traveled overnight from other states to attend Wednesday's wake in Puebla, the state capital where mourners said a final goodbye to their loved ones.

    Each coffin had a name attached: Florencio, Fidela, Aurelia, Manuela, Maria de Jesus, Carmen, Samuel, Azucena, Feliciana, Susana and Elideth — the girl who was to be baptized.

    At Least 25 Killed in Mexico City School Collapse

    [NATL] At Least 25 Killed in Mexico City School Collapse

    At least 25 people, mostly children, died when the Enrique Rebsamen school collapsed in Mexico City from a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on Sept. 19, 2017. Rescuers are racing against time to pull as many survivors out from the rubble as possible, with 11 rescued alive. 

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017)

    Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 quake was centered in Puebla state, where it killed more than 40 people. Across Mexico it killed more than 200 people.

    In Mexico City, rescue efforts continued Wednesday at a primary and secondary school where 25 bodies had been found and a young girl was located alive amid the rubble.