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U.S. Special Operations Service Members Respond to Landslide at Haitian Elementary School

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100216-05
Release Date: 2/16/2010 4:57:00 PM

By Air Force 2nd Lt. Victoria Brayton, JSOCC Public Affairs

CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti (NNS) -- Seven Naval Special Warfare Group Two service members attached to the Joint Forces Special Operations Component Command (JSOCC) operating out of Cap-Haitien, Haiti worked to pull children from the rubble of an elementary school hit by a landslide Feb. 15.

Four children died in the landslide, which struck the Petite Ecole Francaise school around noon.

Members of the Nepalese police force working for the United Nations secured the scene while others worked to pull children from under the rubble, according to one of the responding U.S. Special Operations service members.

The team worked with members of a Haitian fire department and doctors from a non-governmental organization (NGO) who also responded to the incident.

After recovering the first child, another landslide complicated efforts to reach others, said the U.S. Special Operations member.

Four hours after responding to the scene, all of the bodies were recovered and school administrators said all the children were accounted for. The four children who were killed were seated along the back wall of the school at the time of the incident.

The two-story school stood at the foot of a tall mountain in the northern city of Cap-Haitien. Both floors were crushed by the landslide and a large boulder sat on all the rubble, according to U.S. servicemembers.

The city has been experiencing heavy rain for the past two days, and members of U.S. Special Operations Civil Affairs teams continue to work with NGOs, U.N. representatives and the Government of Haiti to assist citizens following the Jan. 12 earthquake.

For more news from Naval Special Warfare Group Two, visit www.navy.mil/local/nswgtwo/.



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