Desperate rescue workers scrabbled through rubble in a floodlit search on Wednesday for dozens of children feared buried beneath a Mexico City school, one of hundreds of buildings wrecked by the country's most lethal earthquake in a generation.
The magnitude 7.1 shock killed at least 217 people, nearly half of them in the capital, 32 years to the day after a devastating 1985 quake.
The disaster came as Mexico still reels from a powerful tremor that killed nearly 100 people in the south of the country less than two weeks ago.
Mexico earthquake: Shake intensity
Among the twisted concrete and steel ruin of the Enrique Rebsamen school, soldiers and firefighters found at least 22 dead children and two adults, while another 30 children and 12 adults were missing, President Enrique Pena Nieto said.
There were chaotic scenes at the school as bulldozers moved rubble under the buzz and glare of floodlights powered by generators, with parents clinging to hope their children had survived.
"They keep pulling kids out, but we know nothing of my daughter," said 32-year-old Adriana D'Fargo, her eyes red after hours waiting for news of her seven-year-old.