Haitian police arrested the owner of a school that collapsed on top of classrooms filled with students and teachers, killing at least 90 people and launching a desperate search for survivors trapped in tons of rubble.
Fortin Augustin, the preacher who owns and built College La Promesse in suburban Port-au-Prince, was arrested late Saturday and charged with involuntary manslaughter, said police spokesman Garry Desrosier.
Augustin was being held at a police station in Haitis capital, while a U.S. rescue crew searched overnight for survivors of Fridays collapse of the three-story building, which normally holds 500 students and teachers.
Officials told Reuters 700 children were enrolled at the three-story La Promesse school, but it was not known how many were in the building when it caved in on Friday while class was in session.
The disaster struck as the poorest country in the Americas struggled to recover from four tropical storms and hurricanes that killed more than 800 people and destroyed 60 percent of its crops in August and September.
Rescuers worked frantically at the school site on the outskirts of Port-of Prince, the Haitian capital, bringing in a crane to lift blocks of concrete. Firefighters from Virginia and rescue workers from Martinique brought sniffer dogs. The search was set to continue for a second night.
In a rare moment of joy in a grim task, Haitian rescuers pulled four children alive Saturday from the rubble and cradled them in their arms as they ran toward ambulances, said U.N. police spokesman Andre Leclerc.
Leclerc said he did not know the extent of the injuries to the two girls, ages 3 and 5, and two boys, a 7-year-old and a teenager. But he added the 3-year-old had a cut on her head and seemed to be OK.
"She was talking and drinking juice," Leclerc was quoted by AP as saying.