Mexico bars quake-collapsed school in capital from operating

Mexico Earthquake_692534

FILE – In this Sept. 20, 2017 file photo, volunteers and rescue workers search for children trapped inside the Enrique Rebsamen school, collapsed by a 7.1 earthquake in southern Mexico City. Mexico’s Education Department says authorities have revoked the permits of the elementary and middle school that collapsed in the devastating, killing 26 people. (AP […]

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico’s Education Department has revoked the permits of an elementary and middle school where a wing of the building collapsed in the recent magnitude 7.1 earthquake, killing 26 people.

Education Secretary Aurelio Nuno said Monday that the privately run Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City, which has been closed since the Sept. 19 quake, will be prohibited from operating.

“There is an open investigation by the Mexico City prosecutor’s office, and until responsibility is assigned, we are going to maintain this prohibition,” Nuno told Radio Formula.

He said that while what remains of the campus is unusable, authorities wanted to ensure the school did not try to reopen elsewhere.

Prosecutors are investigating the school’s owner. Complaints have also been filed against government officials who allegedly ignored warnings about unauthorized construction at the school that may have been responsible for the collapse.

The Education Department offered Sunday to help families place their children in other schools. Nineteen children and seven adults died at Enrique Rebsamen.

On Monday, Civil Defense coordinator Luis Felipe Puente announced via Twitter that the death toll from the quake had risen by two to 363, including 222 in Mexico City.

Authorities are still inspecting schools to make sure they are safe, and Nuno said it will likely be two weeks before all are back in session. He said decisions on how students will make up the lost time will be left to state governments.

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