Amid Search for More Bodies, Mexico City Office Building Has Become a Tomb Following Earthquake

It has been days since the last person was extracted from the building alive, and the stench of death pervades the scene. Twenty bodies have been found. Crews think 10 to 20 remain. (Credit: Rong-Gong Lin II / Los Angeles Times)

It has been days since the last person was extracted from the building alive, and the stench of death pervades the scene. Twenty bodies have been found. Crews think 10 to 20 remain. (Credit: Rong-Gong Lin II / Los Angeles Times)

What was once a concrete office building has become a tomb.

The upper stories at the building at Avenida Alvaro Obregon 286, in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, have collapsed, leaving entire floors stacked like pancakes.

Signs of a once-bustling office peek out. Potted plants. The remnants of vertical blinds. A navy blue bench cushion. Binders. A black filing cabinet smashed open. A Star Wars toy model. An electrical outlet ripped from the wall.

All of it now squeezed in a vise of heavy concrete floors failed by their pillars.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

California seismic safety commissioner Kit Miyamoto, a Los Angeles-based structural engineer visiting Mexico City to learn from the quake and provide help if requested, said the wreckage shows a common defect in concrete buildings of this era: not enough steel rebar embedded in the concrete to contain it as it crumbles and keep the pillars intact. (Credit: Rong-Gong Lin II / Los Angeles Times)

California seismic safety commissioner Kit Miyamoto, a Los Angeles-based structural engineer visiting Mexico City to learn from the quake and provide help if requested, said the wreckage shows a common defect in concrete buildings of this era: not enough steel rebar embedded in the concrete to contain it as it crumbles and keep the pillars intact. (Credit: Rong-Gong Lin II / Los Angeles Times)