Grace Divine School collapse

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Grace Divine School collapse
Port-au-Prince is located in Haiti
Location of Port-au-Prince within Haiti
Time unknown
Date Wednesday, November 12, 2008 (2008-11-12)
Location Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Coordinates 18°32′N 72°20′W / 18.533°N 72.333°W / 18.533; -72.333Coordinates: 18°32′N 72°20′W / 18.533°N 72.333°W / 18.533; -72.333
0 dead
9 injured

The Grace Divine School collapse occurred on November 12, 2008, at the Grace Divine Primary and Secondary School in the Canapé Vert section of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The collapse, along with the 2008 Pétion-Ville school collapse, was the second such incident in Haiti in less than a week.


The school building was a two-story concrete structure built on the side of a hill.[1][2] According to one AFP witness, "chunks of the school's walls were scattered on the ground, its concrete roof was sagging, and there were clear cracks in the remaining walls".[3]

No cause was immediately apparent, but poor-quality construction and heavy rains in the preceding days were believed to have been contributing factors.[4][5] The Red Cross reported that some students were jumping and dancing in a musical just prior to collapse, which may have strained the weakened structure.[2]


Around 100 students, ages 5 to 12, attended Grace Divine School. The collapse occurred during a break in classes, when most of the school's students were outside in the yard.[6] At least nine individuals were injured, including two students who were taken to hospital.[5] A preliminary search reported that no one was trapped in the debris and that there were no fatalities.[7]

Compared to the Pétion-Ville disaster, the number and severity of casualties in Port-au-Price were low because of relatively little damage to the buildings and most students were outside of the building during collapse.[2]

Reaction and rescue[edit]

After hearing of the collapse parents anxiously gathered at the school, fearing a similar deadly outcome of the collapse of the La Promesse school in Pétion-Ville. Foreign and domestic rescue teams were quick to arrive on scene due to their involvement in the Pétion-Ville collapse.[3]

At one school a mile away from Grace Divine, students believed their own school building was shaking; there was no damage but two children were injured in the panic.[2]

Initial information about the disaster was reported to the international media by Dr. Jean Pierre Guiteau, the executive officer of the Haitian Red Cross.[2]


  1. ^ "Second Haiti school collapses". Al Jazeera. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Kids' dancing causes Haiti school collapse, Red Cross says". CNN. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "Another school collapses in Haiti: reports". AFP. 12 November 2008. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2008. 
  4. ^ "Second school collapses in Haiti". BBC. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "9 injured in 2nd Haiti school collapse". International Herald Tribune. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "Second school collapses in Haiti, nine hurt". Reuters. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2008. 
  7. ^ "5 students injured in 2nd Haiti school collapse in less than a week". Associated Press. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2008.