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Two More Bodies Found; Death Toll in Building Collapse Rises to 15

May 15, 1988

AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico (AP) _ Army and civilian rescuers chipped away at concrete slabs Saturday to try to reach two people still missing in a building collapse that killed at least 15 people, officials said.

A state communique said the death toll from Thursday’s collapse rose to 15 on Saturday and may go as high as 17. The Red Cross listed 19 dead, Juan Diaz Andrade, in charge of special services for the local agency said.

Rescuers believe they have located the body of one of the missing and believe the second also is dead, said the communique issued Saturday.

Fifty-seven people were injured in the accident and 12 of them hospitalized, the report said.

The governor of Aguascalientes, Miguel Angel Barbarena Vega, visited the site Saturday and said an investigation to determine why the four-story building collapsed will be stepped up Monday.

The building housed a furniture factory on the ground floor and part of the three-level basement area. It gave way as concrete was being poured during construction of three more floors that were being added on.

It is common in Mexico for buildings to be occupied during construction of upper floors.

Jesus Maria Romo, owner of the furniture factory in this state capital 320 miles northwest of Mexico City, said paperwork for indemnization for relatives of the victims will begin Monday, the government news agency Notimex reported.

He estimated damage at about $225,000, Notimex said.

Update hourly