MEXICO MOURNS: Earthquake death toll claims to 273


September 22, 2017
AP A rescue dog helps to localize people trapped in the rubble of a building felled by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, in the Ciudad Jardin neighborhood of Mexico City, yestersday.
AP People embrace during an outdoor Catholic Mass near the Enrique Rebsamen school that collapsed during the earthquake in Mexico City, yestersday.
AP Rescue workers search for survivors, some holding their arms up as a sign to maintain silence, at an apartment building located on Amsterdam street, at the intersection with Laredo street, that collapsed during an earthquake in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, Mexico, yesterday.
A woman walks past an apartment building that collapsed after an earthquake in Mexico City, yestersday.

Earthquake death toll claims to 273


President Enrique PeOa Nieto's office raised the death toll from Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 earthquake to 273, including 137 in the capital. In a statement, it said there were also 73 deaths in Morelos state, 43 in Puebla, 13 in the State of Mexico, six in Guerrero and one in Oaxaca.

More than 2,000 were injured and more than 50 people rescued in Mexico City alone, including two women and a man pulled alive from the wreckage of a building in the city's centre on Wednesday night.

In the midst of the disaster, Mexicans were yesterday shocked by news that a girl who was said to be trapped in rubble didn't exist.

Hour after excruciating hour, Mexicans were transfixed by dramatic efforts to reach a young girl thought buried in the rubble of a school destroyed by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. She reportedly wiggled her fingers, told rescuers her name and said there were others trapped near her. Rescue workers called for tubes, pipes and other tools to reach her.


News media, officials and volunteer rescuers all repeated the story of "Frida Sofia" with a sense of urgency that made it a national drama, drawing attention away from other rescue efforts across the quake-stricken city and leaving people in Mexico and abroad glued to their television sets.

But she never existed, Mexican navy officials now say.

"We want to emphasise that we have no knowledge about the report that emerged with the name of a girl," navy Assistant Secretary Angel Enrique Sarmiento said yesterday. "We never had any knowledge about that report, and we do not believe we are sure it was not a reality."

Sarmiento said a camera lowered into the rubble of the Enrique Rebsamen school showed blood tracks where an injured person apparently dragged himself or herself, and the only person it could be the only one still listed as missing was a school employee. But it was just blood tracks no fingers wiggling, no voice, no name. Several dead people have been removed from the rubble, and it could have been their fingers rescuers thought they saw move.