Hunt Pressed for Missing in Mexico Building Collapse

Associated Press

Soldiers were called out Friday to help dig for people missing in the rubble of a building collapse that killed at least 13 people the day before.

Red Cross and state government officials confirmed the number of known dead and said that 53 people were injured.

Police spokesman Gilberto Sanchez said that about 60 soldiers from the army garrison here joined firefighters, police and volunteers in the rescue effort. Bulldozers and cranes were brought from as far away as Salamanca, 78 miles to the southwest.

Aguascalientes, a city of about 500,000 people 320 miles northwest of Mexico City, is the capital of Aguascalientes state.

"Hundreds of people have come to help in the rescue of an undetermined number of people who are missing, although as time passes our hopes of finding survivors diminish," said Juan Manuel Diaz, head of special services for the local Red Cross. He said that at least 116 workers were in the building when the four upper stories collapsed.

"Relatives of the victims practically attacked the ambulances, trying to identify" the victims, he said.

The building, still under construction, consisted of three basements, a main floor and three upper stories.

It collapsed late Thursday afternoon as workers were about to pour the last concrete onto a furniture factory that occupied the ground floor and part of the basement area.

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