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9674: Roof collapse kills at least six in Haiti (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Nov 14 (Reuters) - The roof of a market
warehouse in the Haitian capital collapsed, crushing at least six people to
death, residents and local radio said on Wednesday.
Traders from the countryside had been sleeping under the roof on
Tuesday night when a pillar snapped, bringing the roof down and burying
them in rubble.
"For now, they say six people died after the roof fell on them as they
were sleeping," warehouse worker Gerard Paul said. "But I can't say exactly
how many died. There could be more people under there."
Private Radio Metropole reported that five people were killed and six
people taken to a hospital for treatment.
On Wednesday afternoon, residents and merchants combed through the
rubble to search for any survivors. Two tractors worked to clear away the
"There was one man trapped under the bricks and he had to scream to
get people to help him get out," said Janice Pierre, a street merchant.
"One of his legs was broken."
The warehouse, originally built as an hotel in the late 19th century,
later became a railroad station until 1963. Since then, it has housed an
administrative office for the downtown markets and serves as a storage
center for rice, concrete, flour and wood brought in from the provinces.
The incident is the second tragedy this month to hit the congested
open-air market area known as La Saline. On Nov. 2, armed attackers shot at
its shantytown residents and looted and burned hundreds of their dwellings.
The attacks were apparently part of a turf war between rival gangs,
with one of them going after two brothers who have allegedly collected
protection money for years from La Saline's vendors.
During a tour of the slum last week, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
promised residents his government would help rebuild all the homes and give
money to the victims.