Rescues Continue as Mexico Quake Deaths Rise to 273


Rescues Continue as Mexico Quake Deaths Rise to 273

A complex search and rescue operation is continuing in a bid to save a 12-year-old girl from beneath a collapsed school in Mexico.

But it turns out she is a figment of someone's imagination that had spiralled out of control, Mexican authorities said.

Sofia was believed to be trapped between broken furniture and concrete slabs.

The Navy said it had been working to rescue the girl, amid reports that she was in contact with schoolmates and had been seen wiggling her fingers.

In an update, assistant navy secretary Angel Enrique Sarmiento said yesterday "Frida Sofia" is not real saying there was evidence of a person who may still be alive, but it was probably a school worker.

Reports that no-one had come forward as parents of the child sparked some scepticism and the school itself said on Thursday morning they had no student registered under that name. "We do not believe - we are sure - it was not a reality".

Eleven children have been rescued from the school, which is named for Enrique Conrado Rébsamen Egloff, a 19th-century school reformer whose principles are still prominent in the country's education system. The navy tweeted a collage of photos of Frida last week, announcing her 52 rescues to the social media world.

As the rescuers continued to communicate with Sofia, she told them there were two more students trapped near the place she was. Now change the version. Unfortunately, there's still plenty of rescue work to be done in Mexico City.

When Frida's story went viral this week, many people confused the exact details of her rescues, with some thinking that all 52 people were alive or that all 52 people were detected during the Mexico City natural disaster.

Rescuers have plucked 50 survivors from the rubble so far and are vowing to continue their efforts.

September 30, 1999: At least 22 people are killed in a 7.5-magnitude quake that strikes southern and central areas.

The office of President Enrique Peña Nieto revised the nationwide death toll to 273 late Thursday afternoon: 137 in Mexico City, 73 in Morelos, 43 in Puebla, 13 in the State of Mexico, six in Guerrero and one in Oaxaca.