Chaos erupts at Haitian supermarket where several are feared buried alive

Supermarket briefing

We will not give up

— PORT-AU-PRINCE — A frantic relative of a Haitian man sends a message to media throughout the world.

“Adolpho Prato is texting from the Caribbean Supermarket at Delmas 95,” the message said in all capital letters. “He is near the freezers and bleeding and alive.”

At the site of the supermarket, a Venezuelan, Canadian, Dominican and three U.S. search and rescue teams have scoured the site.

Thursday, Capt. Billy Monahan of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said there had been a new development.

“We have just accessed one more tiny area that we can go into,” he told a group of media and Haitians. “One more section inside the market to look for the living or the deceased, to help the family with the rescue or with closure that we have found your loved ones.”

However, the message sent to the media may be an example of the desperation earthquake victims and their families abroad are experiencing in a situation where thousands of dead have reportedly either not been identified or counted.

Angry Haitians battered Monahan with questions after his statements during a press conference on Thursday.

“There are 64 people alive in there!,” a man shouted in Creole to Monahan. “How can you not find any of them?”

Monahan repeated a statement he made earlier in the briefing.

“The teams that have been here before us today have worked very, very hard to find your family,” Monahan said. “The tools they have used to go into the collapsed structure are some of the best tools in the world.”

Another woman then interrupted.

“Why are you talking to us, you should be searching,” she yelled while pointing and shaking her arm at the building.

Monahan walked away.

At one point during the briefing, he stopped and looked down. He patted a notebook containing a sketch of the supermarket. Paused again. He was searching for words.

“I must tell you, we want to find your family for you, whether they are dead or still alive,” Monahan said. “We’re not going to stop or leave until we’re done.”

He reminded the crowd that they were the lucky ones.

“Not every building in this country can be or will be searched. You need to put in your hearts that many teams have searched here and that’s more than other buildings have had,” Monahan told them. “So, you are fortunate to have had the experienced look for your loved ones in this building, because some others did not have that chance.”

© 2010 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Related Links

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features