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Haiti health workers say 13 children died in orphanage fire

By AP

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(AP) — A fire swept through an orphanage run by a Pennsylvania-based non-profit group in Haiti, killing 13 children, including infants, health care workers said Friday.

Rose-Marie Louis, a child-care worker, told The Associated Press that she saw 13 children’s bodies being carried out of the Orphanage of the Church of Bible Understanding in the Kenscoff area outside Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.

Marie-Sonia Chery, a nurse at the nearby Baptist Mission Hospital, confirmed that 13 boys and girls had died.

Louis, who worked at the orphanage, said the fire began around 9 p.m. Thursday and firefighters took about 1.5 hours to arrive.

About seven were babies or toddlers and about six were roughly 10 or 11 years old, she said.

She said the orphanage had been using candles for light due to problems with its generator and inverter.

Rescue workers arrived at the scene on motorcycles and didn’t have bottled oxygen or the ambulances needed to transport the children to the hospital, said Jean-Francois Robenty, a civil protection official.

“They could have been saved,”′ he said. ″We didn’t have the equipment to save their lives.″

Robenty said officials believed other children’s bodies remained inside and emergency workers were trying to pull them out Friday morning.

Orphanage workers on the scene said they believed two bodies were still inside.

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