Collapsed Haiti school to be demolished

/ Source: The Associated Press

With the search for survivors over, crews will now knock down the ruins of a collapsed Haitian school to protect nearby homes, an official said Tuesday.

Removal of the debris also may reveal more bodies of people trapped when the College La Promesse suddenly collapsed on Friday, said Nadia Lochard, the civil protection official in charge of the area.

At least 89 people, mostly students, were killed when the building crashed down. The death toll had been 94, but officials revised it downward because some victims had been counted more than once.

Portions of the first floor and basement are still standing but the hillside structure is so weak it could still crumble and take out more homes, Lochard said.

"We're going to do it step by step so there isn't more damage," she said.

More than 150 people were badly injured and two houses behind the school were destroyed in the hillside slum of Nerette, a maze of precarious buildings below the Port-au-Prince suburb of Petionville.

Searchers announced Monday they did not expect to find more survivors or many more bodies from the huge pile of concrete and other debris, now giving off a strong stench of death.

Haitian authorities have said they suspect that poor construction, including a lack of steel reinforcement, caused the collapse and the school's owner has been detained on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter.