World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN Peacekeepers Help In Rescue Effort In Haiti

UN Peacekeepers Help In Rescue Effort After Deadly School Collapse In Haiti


New York, Nov 7 2008 5:10PM

United Nations peacekeepers are helping rescue workers dig through the rubble of a school building in Haiti after it collapsed this morning, killing at least 11 children and severely injuring dozens more.

The upper storey of the two-storey school collapsed during morning classes, crushing all of the classrooms on the ground level. So far, 75 children and teachers have been reported injured and evacuated to two local hospitals.

“UN blue helmets are on the scene clearing rubble and trying to help people buried under the debris,” David Wimhurst, a spokesperson from the UN mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH, told the UN News Centre.

Frantic rescue efforts are under way but the scene of the accident is surrounded by thousands of people, including anxious family members of the hundreds of children who attend La Promesse School in Pétionville, an outlying suburb of the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

The crowds are making it difficult for rescue workers to gain access to the site to dig out survivors and provide emergency care. The UN commander in Haiti, Maj. Gen. Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz, had to park a kilometre away and walk through the amassed group to get to the school.

“If we can’t get rescue equipment in and out it’s going to be hard to help the people trapped in the building,” said Mr. Wimhurst.

Peacekeepers are using ambulances to help clear a passage for rescue workers and to transport survivors to hospitals.

By mid-afternoon some 60 blue helmets – including military engineers from Brazil, Chile and Ecuador as well as military from the Philippines – that were helping with crowd control had also delivered 540 litres of water to people still buried in the rubble and survivors suffering from dehydration.

MINUSTAH had also provided three generators and three sets of industrial strength lighting to aid emergency rescue efforts through the night.

“This is a terrible tragedy for the families involved and the children but also for Pétionville itself, which is a huge metro area. It is also a tragedy for the international community because of the loss of life to children,” said Mr. Wimhurst.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: