MEXICO CITY: Emergency workers pulled the last victim’s body Wednesday from the rubble of Mexico’s September 19 earthquake, officials said, as the country turned to rebuilding after a disaster that claimed more than 360 lives.
After 15 days of searching, workers found the final victim’s body beneath the mountain of rubble left by the collapse of a seven-story office building in Mexico City’s hard-hit Roma district, tweeted the interior ministry official overseeing the effort, Deputy Secretary for Human Rights Roberto Campa.
“Based on lists provided by family members and witness accounts from people who worked (in the buildings that collapsed), as well as the testimony of friends and others, we no longer expect to find anyone else,” Mexico City Mayor Angel Mancera said in a TV interview.
The office building, which crumpled into a heap of tangled steel and concrete during the 7.1-magnitude quake, was the last active search site.
In all, 49 bodies were recovered there, authorities said.
Twenty-nine people were rescued alive from the building in the first days after the quake. Across the capital, 69 people were saved from the wreckage of the 39 buildings that collapsed.
But no one had been found alive since September 22, and hopes that miracle survivors would be located beneath the rubble gradually faded.
The last lives saved turned out to be two dogs and a parrot found nearly a week after the quake.
The nationwide death toll stands at 366 people, with the largest number killed in Mexico City.
President Enrique Pena Nieto was due to address the nation later Wednesday on rebuilding after the quake and another on September 7 that together caused an estimated $2 billion in damage.