A man is pulled out of the rubble alive in Mexico City on September 20.
Frenzy as people are heard trapped under rubble
02:10 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Man trapped for 17 hours with broken leg says he never lost faith he would be rescued

Official says searches for possible survivors could last for two more weeks

Mexico City CNN  — 

Hiram Navarro had reasons for hope and despair Friday as rescuers hunted for his brother and dozens of others who were feared to be in a Mexico City office building that collapsed in this week’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

The good news, rescuers told Navarro and other relatives of the missing: Heat-sensing equipment indicates people may be alive in pockets of space amid the rubble of what had been a seven-story building.

The bad: Searchers have to move slowly and delicately, because the wreckage is unstable and could collapse further.

Relatives estimate up to 50 people were in the building along Avenida Alvaro Obregon in west-central Mexico City when the quake hit Tuesday. Family members have waited nearby ever since – some of them staying overnight in tents – monitoring the search and hoping for the best.

Similar scenes have been playing out across central Mexico as volunteers joined trained search and rescue workers to try to reach possible survivors and clear rubble, days after the quake that officials say killed more than 300 people.

Navarro, who believes his brother, Jesus, was in the building at Avenida Alvaro Obregon, said rescuers told relatives that they haven’t made contact with anyone inside, and they’re approaching the site cautiously.

“If we make one wrong move, the (pockets of space where people might be) will collapse,” Navarro said, citing what rescuers told him.