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Haiti supermarket collapses with people inside

world Updated: Feb 10, 2010 10:44 IST

AFP
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A quake-damaged Haitian supermarket collapsed in the capital with several people inside and rescue crews were working to pull them out, a site supervisor and rescuers said.

“There were looters inside the building,” Meir Vaknin told AFP, referring to the Caribbean Market store. “I was trying to get rid of them and when the building fell there were some of them inside.”

He estimated five to eight people had been in the building, and said at least one was spotted alive inside.

A Mexican rescue worker, Carlos Mendez, said they had found two people so far. Asked if they were alive, he said, “This is what we are going to find out.”

The building was badly damaged in Haiti’s devastating January 12 earthquake, but remained partly standing.

Vaknin said a storage space fell onto the building on yesterday as he was working at the site with an excavator to remove bodies still there from the quake.

“I was sitting in the excavator when it fell in,” he said. “I’m so lucky to be alive.”

He said no one from his crew was hurt.

Dozens of rescue workers were at the scene, with US military and UN police sealing off the area.

Rescue workers were using cutting tools to try to reach people with the help of flood lights.