Buried girl rescued alive after 68 hours

Yingxiu, May 15:

Rescuers today pulled an 11-year-old girl from the rubble of a school 68 hours after it was destroyed in the devastating earthquake that hit southwest China, an AFP reporter witnessed.

In one of the few good news stories that have emerged since the 7.9 magnitude quake claimed tens of thousands of lives, Zhang Chunmei was carried out of the collapsed building in Yingxiu weak but alive.

“It’s wonderful, she’s alive!” one onlooker exclaimed, as a dozen nurses wearing white coats and uniformed soldiers, all wearing protective masks, tended to her.

The small village of about 10,000 people was almost completely destroyed in the quake, and Zhang’s miracle survival gave little comfort to other people there who had lost friends or relatives.

At the Yingxiu primary school, well over half of its 500 students are believed to have died in the disaster.

While 150 students managed to escape following the quake, only Zhang and one other child have been pulled out of the rubble. Many of Zhang’s schoolmates have been pulled out dead.