Mexico earthquake: Animals rescued from collapsed medical lab

As rescue workers continued Wednesday to search for human survivors of Tuesday's 7.1 magnitude earthquake in central Mexico, the safe recovery of 53 lab animals was a source of joy in an otherwise grim week.

Workers clearing debris from a collapsed medical laboratory discovered 40 lab rabbits and 13 lab rats, Mexico City police said. Where the animals would go next was not immediately known.

Meanwhile, there was other good news for those who love animals: City officials told any displaced victims seeking shelter in the city that they would be able to bring their pets. And some groups have begun to collect donations of animal food as well.

Representatives from the Humane Society were active in Mexico City as well, after reports of pets roaming the streets.

Following the Sept. 7 earthquake in southern Mexico, the society established a shelter in Juchitan that took in more than 1,300 animals, Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle wrote on the organization's website. He said the group would take similar actions in Mexico City.

Tuesday’s earthquake killed at least 230 people in Mexico City and surrounding areas.

Two particular tragedies saddened the country: At least 25 people, mostly children, were killed when a school collapsed, and 11 people were killed when a church collapsed.

At the school site, officials said Wednesday they were close to rescuing at least one child from the rubble, but heavy rain threatened the mission, which had been going on for hours.

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto said the country’s highest priority was to check through fallen structures for any survivors.

"Every minute counts to save lives," the president said.

At the church site, a family mourned the death of a 2-month-old girl who was being christened. Ten others also perished.

A wake was held Wednesday for the 11 victims. Only the girl’s father, the priest and the priest’s assistant survived the ordeal.

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto said Wednesday that the country would hold three days of mourning in honor of the lives lost.  

The country’s highest priority was to check through fallen structures for any survivors, the president said.

"Every minute counts to save lives," Pena Nieto said.

The Associaated Press contributed to this report.