A young student from the Mexico City school that collapsed during the earthquake earlier this week tearfully explained his experience on “NBC Nightly News” with Lester Holt.

According to earlier reports, the earthquake reached a magnitude of 7.1.

The boy, who was joined by his mother, explained that he was in English class when he felt “the ground start to vibrate.” He said he started alerting others of the shaking because “no alarm went off.”

He explained to “NBC Nightly News”:

“I said it was shaking, and we all went down quickly.”

That’s when the boy said he made “the best decision of his life” by choosing to turn right instead of left, “where everything fell first”:

“I went to the right with my friends, and we were going down the stairs. I did not fall, neither did my friends, there were too many and then I didn’t see them anymore.”

Once the boy reached the bottom level, he turned around to see his entire school had fallen.

Facebook/NBC News

The boy described the scene:

“There was all the dust, and we could only cover ourselves. There weren’t that many classmates.”

He explained how hard it was for him to see that many of those who died were people he knew, including a teacher:

“Everything was so fast. I didn’t see her. In 30 seconds, my school was down, and I don’t ever know how I saved myself.”

The boy’s mom told NBC News that, as a result of all the chaos, it took her five hours to reach her son’s school.

She explained that fear of the unknown was agonizing:

“I heard on the radio about the school, and I thought, my God, my children. No way of communicating with anyone, but thank God, they’re here. My kids, safe.”

As CNN reports, at least 19 students died when the school collapsed, as well as six adults. All of the children inside the school at the time have been accounted for, and they no longer believe children are trapped beneath the rubble.

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