TORONTO (Reuters) - A Canadian man in Ecuador who was video-chatting with his father when the connection went down during the Andean country’s huge earthquake on Saturday called back hours later to report his wife and son had been killed, a family member said.
Pascal Laflamme’s wife, Jennifer Mawn, 38, and 12-year-old son, Arthur, died when the roof of their residence collapsed during the 7.8 magnitude quake, the man’s uncle, Guy Laflamme, said in a phone interview on Sunday.
Pascal Laflamme and his daughter, Laurie-Ann, 14, survived.
The quake, Ecuador’s biggest in decades, struck off the Pacific coast, causing panic as far away as the highland capital, Quito, and killing at least 262 people.
Guy Laflamme said his nephew, originally from Montreal, had shouted: “Get out!” to his family in their home near the coast, but they could not do so in time.
“And the roof fell down,” the uncle said. “His kid was killed and his wife was under the debris.”
Pascal Laflamme, who worked for a property developer in Bahia de Caraquez, about 95 miles (150 km) southwest of Quito, told his father afterward he and his daughter sought shelter with a friend away from the seaside. He has not been in touch since.
Pascal Laflamme’s father, Real, whom Guy Laflamme described as “in shock,” declined an interview request, saying it was a difficult time for him.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion confirmed in a statement that two Canadians died in the quake.
Reporting by Ethan Lou in Toronto; Editing by Peter Cooney