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Officials: Earthquake claims lives of 30 Haitian national soccer members

Photo by Julie Jacobson

Photo by Julie Jacobson

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- At least 30 members of the Haitian Football Federation died in last week's earthquake, Caribbean football officials said on Tuesday.

In a report to world governing body FIFA, the Caribbean Football Union said the dead included players, referees, coaches, and administration and medical officials. Officials were holding a meeting at federation headquarters when it collapsed.

The report said federation president Yves Jean Bart survived the quake.

Horace Burrell of Jamaica, vice president of the CFU, visited Haiti over the weekend. He said Bart told him that at least 30 federation members had died, and 20 more were still buried in the rubble or unaccounted for.

It was not clear how many players were in the building when it collapsed.

"Words cannot describe what I have seen in Haiti. It is heartbreaking," Burrell said in his report to FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who also heads CONCACAF.

Burrell said he met Bart at the airport.

"His injuries and bandages remain stark reminders of his narrow escape from the crumbling building," Burrell said.

Warner said FIFA would donate $250,000 to relief efforts, FIFA vice president Chung Moon-jung was personally donating $500,000, and Warner said he would contribute $100,000.

Luis Mejia, the president of the Dominican Olympic committee, said he was told by his Haitian counterpart, Jean Edward Baker, that at least seven Haitian Olympic athletes died in the quake.

Mejia said among the dead were taekwondo competitors and siblings Alexandra Corcon and Aly Corcon. Mejia said they died when the building in which they were training collapsed.

Mejia said he was told two boxers and three judoka also died. There names were not disclosed, he said