Building Collapse in Havana Leaves a Woman Trapped in the Rubble / Julio Cesar Alvarez

Pedro Maria School this morning. Photo: Julio César Álvarez

HAVANA, Cuba, September 23, 2013, A partial collapse of a former school in ruins, occurred this morning in Havana, trapping a woman in the rubble, according to information from the scene of journalist Julio César Alvarez.

The Cubanet reporter says that it is the former Pedro Maria Rodriguez Elementary School, located on Calle Carmen, between Cortina and Figueroa in La Vibora, where eleven families lived. Around half past nine this morning, part of the building collapsed. At the time of this writing, rescue teams were trying to rescue the trapped body of Isabel Fernandez Gutierrez, 50. It was also learned that another local resident was hospitalized with a panic attack triggered by the crash.

The eleven families had lived for years among the ruins of the school, but had applied repeatedly to the authorities for housing.

UPDATE: In the afternoon, the family of Isabel Fernández Gutiérrez still had no news. Apparently they could not recover her body. Government officials in the area brought two trucks and a bus in order to relocate the residents to a shelter, but they remained firm: They said, or housing, or nothing. The situation was tense.

Note: Also contributing to this report was journalist Miladis Carnel Gonzalez of the Cuban Network of Community Communicators.

From Cubanet

23 September 2013