Derry nun killed in Ecuador earthquake to be repatriated

Sister Clare Crockett Image copyright Home of the Mother
Image caption Sister Crockett (right) pictured with one of the postulants who also died in the earthquake

The body of a Londonderry nun killed in the Ecuador earthquake will be 'home in a week', a repatriation trust has said.

Sister Clare Theresa Crockett, 33, from the Long Tower area of the city, was one of six killed when a school collapsed in Playa Prieta.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake left at least 480 people dead, more than 4,000 injured and 231 missing.

The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust has been working with the authorities in Ecuador on behalf of the family.

Image copyright Home of the Mother
Image caption The lived on the ground floor of the building

"We have been working with a repatriation company and we know that Sister Clare is now with the undertakers," said Colin Bell from the Trust.

"It's only now a matter of getting the paperwork done and getting a flight as soon as possible."

Sr Clare and another Irish nun, Sr Thérèse Ryan from County Limerick, were part of the Home of the Mother order.

They had been teaching guitar and singing with five young women postulants, who were entering the religious order, when the earthquake struck.

It is believed that they were running out of the building and were trapped on a stairway.

Sr Clare was killed along with the five postulants.

Image copyright Home of the Mother
Image caption The five women were in school when the earthquake hit

Mr Bell set up the trust after the death of his 26-year-old son, Kevin, who was killed in a suspected hit-and-run in New York in June 2013.

The trust has been in contact with Sr Crockett's family who he said are anxious to see her body brought home.

"They are realistic in the fact that the country is in turmoil and it's really in the hands of the Gods.

"Paperwork can take four to five working days but I am hopeful that she will be home in a week.

"This is my first case in Ecuador and I've never dealt with a case where there has been such a disaster and the country isn't working as normal," Mr Bell said.

Sister Clare was a fan of karaoke who dreamt of stardom before she joined a religious order.

More on this story