A baptism became a tragedy when the roof of the church in the small village of Atzala collapsed due to the powerful earthquake that struck central Mexico on Tuesday ; 11 members of a family died , including the 2-month-old girl who was being baptized.
The father of the little girl, the priest and the sacristan were the only survivors,according to the archdiocese of Puebla, where Atzala is located. Among those killed by the collapse were four minors.
It was ” a thing of fright, sadness, because really the majority of the people that were inside, therefore, passed away ,” the sacristan Lorenzo Sanchez told The Associated Press.
Sanchez said that those who survived stuck to the walls of the church of Santiago Apóstol when it began to tremble , while those who died had no time to do so.
” One of the things that we have been taught is to stick to the walls that are fixed. Our temple is already an ancient temple and because of its structure, it was already a little deteriorated, ” said the sacristan.
As soon as the land ceased to move, the inhabitants asked for help with the town hall’s loudspeakers . Residents of nearby communities arrived at Atzala with shovels, spikes and chains, and dug for hours in the church’s rubble, but found 11 people dead.
Covered in dust and exhausted, the rescuers covered the bodies with a blanket to protect them from the rain and placed them in the same street where the party after the ceremony was to take place.
The relatives of the deceased traveled from other states to attend Wednesday’s funerals, where the mourners loaded coffins and fired their loved ones.
Each coffin had the name written: Florencio, Fidela, Aurelia, Manuela, María de Jesús, Carmen, Samuel, Azucena, Feliciana, Susana and Elideth , the girl who was being baptized.
The Tuesday earthquake of magnitude 7.1 killed more than 200 people in several states, including around 40 in Puebla.