‘It was a scene of horror’: Eleven members of one family die, including a two-month-old baby girl, during her baptism when roof of church collapsed during Mexico’s earthquake

Thursday, September 21, 2017
By Paul Martin

Eleven family members died Tuesday during earthquake in small town of Atzala
They were inside Santiago the Apostle Catholic Church for baptism ceremony
Bodies were recovered and a wake was held Wednesday night for victims
Those dead named as: Florencio, Fidela, Aurelia, Manuela, Maria de Jesus, Carmen, Samuel, Azucena, Feliciana, Susana and Elideth – the two-month-old
Priest’s assistant Lorenzo Sanchez said: ‘It was a scene of horror, sadness with most of the people inside the church dying’
At least 248 people have died as a result of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake

By REGINA F. GRAHAM
DAILYMAIL.COM
21 September 2017

Eleven members of a family tragically died during a baby’s baptism when the roof of a church collapsed during the powerful earthquake that shook central Mexico on Tuesday.

The Achdiocese of Puebla said the only survivors were the two-month-old girl’s father, the priest and the priest’s assistant inside Santiago the Apostle Catholic Church, which is located in the isolated town of Atzala in the Puebla state.

He added that at least four minors were among the dead, including the two-month-old baby girl that was being christened inside the colonial-style church.

‘It was a scene of horror, sadness with most of the people inside the church dying,’ priest’s assistant Lorenzo Sanchez told The Associated Press.

He said that those who were able to survive moved to the edges inside of the church when the building began to sway. Those who were killed didn’t have time to do so.

‘One of the things they taught us is to stick to the firm walls of our church, which is old and its structure a bit deteriorated,’ Sanchez said.

When the ground stopped shaking, people called for help using loudspeakers and residents of nearby communities quickly arrived in Atzala with shovels, pickaxes and chains to haul away rubble.

They dug for hours through the crumbling remains of the Santiago Apostol church but found the 11 relatives had tragically died.

Two-month-old Elideth Torres de Leon, who was to be baptized; her sister, Maria, 8; and the girls’ mother, Manuela de Leon Garcia, 27, are among the victims.

Covered in dust and exhausted, the rescuers laid the bodies out on the same street where a party was meant to be held after the baptism of the baby girl.

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