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On Scene: Photos Capture a Chaotic, Confusing Race to Rescue Kids From Collapsed Mexico City School

By Laura Fay | September 21, 2017

A child is pulled from an elementary school in Mexico after Tuesday’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake. (Photo by Isabel Miranda de Wallace)

As Mexico City residents and emergency responders continue to search for trapped survivors following Tuesday’s devastating earthquake, one story in particular has captured the world’s attention — that of a supposed 12-year-old girl whom rescuers spotted wiggling her fingers from her entrapment inside a Mexico City elementary school. (Officials now say there are no remaining surviving children in the school, The Washington Post reported Thursday afternoon.)

Rescuers continue to look for survivors in Mexico. (Photo by BBC)

Dramatic photos and videos from the rescue efforts captured crowds gathered at Enrique Rebsamen school, some raising their fists to indicate that the crowd should be silent so rescuers can listen for signs of life, according to various reports and tweets.

Others were ready to pass out water and help the rescue efforts.

Volunteers collect aid to assist people at the Enrique Rebsamen school, collapsed in the deadly earthquake that struck Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Rafael S. Fabres/Getty Images)

Mexican rescue teams look for people trapped in the rubble at the Enrique Rebsamen elementary school in Mexico City on Sept. 20, 2017. (MARIO VAZQUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Mexican rescue teams look for people trapped in the rubble at the Enrique Rebsamen elementary school in Mexico City on Sept. 20, 2017. (Photo: MARIO VAZQUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

A video posted by the BBC Thursday showed some children being rescued from the building. A longer version of the video was initially shared on Twitter by Isabel Miranda de Wallace, a Mexican activist, Wednesday.

A crying child is rescued from a school after the devastating earthquake in Mexico. (Photo by Isabel Miranda de Wallace)

The scene seemed tense, and often terrifying, for families waiting for loved ones who might be in the school. One family was told a child was taken to a hospital, then told the child was still in the building, and later told the child had died before being rescued, The New York Times reported.

Volunteers and others help assist the people from the Enrique Rebsamen school, collapsed in the deadly earthquake that struck Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Rafael S. Fabres/Getty Images)

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, the BBC reported that the death toll from the 7.1-magnitude earthquake was 230 people across Mexico, 100 of those in Mexico City, the country’s capital. At least 19 students and six adults died in the collapsed school and 11 were rescued, according to the BBC report.

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