Four Lynn University students and two professors remain missing in the rubble of the 7.0 magnitude Haiti earthquake. Eight students from Lynn traveled to Haiti. Four returned to the U.S. after the quake. See a video below.
Update 1-22-10: Just heard Geraldo Rivera on FOX News reporting from the Hotel Montana. He says rescuers have reached the lobby area of the hotel. No other details at this time.
Update 1-23-10: according to WPBF.com, the families have received the sad news that “the government no longer expects to find any more survivors. See update below.
Update 1-24-10: As we know,
several people were pulled from the devastation in Haiti, so although
government sources have said they expect no more survivors, miracles do
happen. At this time, there seems to be nothing new to report about the
Lynn University students and faculty.
Update 1-24-10: Some family members of the Lynn University missing traveled to Haiti yesterday. Source: Sphere
I was there yesterday with the other families,” Len Gengel, whose 19-year-old daughter, Britney, is among the missing. I saw the devastation. I smelled the devastation.”
We got to walk around and see the actual rubble, see the hotel,” Gengel
said in a statement upon arriving home at Logan International Airport
in Boston. “We were hoping to bring closure, and for some of the
families, that did.”
Update 1-25-10: There are reports that some of the Lynn University students and faculty have been identified at Hotel Montana. The University says they CANNOT confirm those reports at this time and I see no statement from the State Department.
Reports that the U.S. has done little to recover the missing Americans have stirred emotions. Questions abound about the truth of the story. According to this article, the United Nations has blocked the road to Hotel Montana, making entry to the site unaccessible to a private search-and-rescue team hired by the University.
Hope filled the university in the days after the Jan. 12 earthquake when the
school, through an insurance policy, hired two separate search-and-rescue
teams to helicopter into Haiti and find the group, which went there on a
humanitarian mission to feed the poor a day before the 7.0-magnitude
But for at least the last two days, the United Nations, which is coordinating
rescues at the site of the Montana, has focused on letting only government
crews work the area. As many as seven crews were working the site of the
Montana since the day after it crumbled, including an elite international
search-and-rescue team from Fairfax, Va.
FOX News’ Brian Wilson reported from some distance away from Hotel Montana today. He said he had been able to go to Hotel Montana to enable reports on the area, but said the hotel floors have pancaked onto each other, and the situation is very difficult. It is believed there is still some hope that the hotel lobby area may be conducive to survival. Hotel Montana was the place of the rescue of Methodist ministers, Sam Dixon, Clinton Rabb and James Gulley. Dixon and Rabb died of their injuries. Gulley is safely back at his home in Colorado.
Len Gengel, the father of missing Britney Gengel [pictured above, I think, bottom-row left, said this to O’Reilly:
It’s not just the six students and faculty from Lynn. … There are
military, American Marines in that hotel that were there for security,”
Len Gengel told Bill O’Reilly. His daughter, Britney, is among the missing
and would’ve turned 20 today. “I mean, this is an outrage.”
Several of the missing students, including Ms. Gengel were reported to be rescued and alive, some 48 hours after the earthquake, only to find that the information was incorrect.
Here is a statement from the State Department:
[Yesterday] Rescue efforts at the hotel took a step back when a massive 6.1-magnitude
aftershock sent rescue workers rushing from buildings. Several sections of
the Montana have become too unsafe to search, said Duguid of the state
We are still finding people under the rubble, and we will continue to
look if we believe there is a chance someone is there,” he said.
Also missing is Courtney Hayes, in the above picture, believed to be top row, right, and Stephanie Crispinelli, believed to pictured top row, left above. My apologies if these identifications are incorrect. Faculty advisors missing are Dr. Patrick Hartwick pictured above bottom row, middle, and Dr. Richard Bruno, bottom row, right.
Continuing updates can be found at Lynn University website.
The following video is Jean Gianacaci, a parent of a Lynn University student, posted on January 19th. She talks about the lack of heavy machinery in the area of Hotel Montana to aid in the rescue of her daughter. In the report linked above, that heavy machinery is now in the area. I believe the woman pictured above, top row middle, is Christine Gianacaci.
A report from ABC’s WPBF.com says Mr. Gengel, Britany Gengel’s father, said they were notified at 4 p.m. yesterday that the State Department will announce they are moving “toward recovery” at the Hotel Montana and no longer expect to find survivors. God bless these students and the two professors who working in Haiti on an aid mission.