Pregnant Chinese woman pulled from rubble after 50 hours

Chinese rescue workers have pulled a 34-year-old woman who is eight months pregnant to safety after she spent 50 hours under earthquake rubble.

Pregnant Chinese woman pulled from rubble after 50 hours

Exhausted rescuers and earthquake victims celebrated on Wednesday when they pulled a woman eight-months pregnant and her mother alive from the rubble of their home, a rare moment of joy in this shattered city.

But relatives were soon throwing themselves at the feet of the rescue chief as she pulled her team out with three family members still trapped in the wreckage.

The toll from China's most deadly earthquake in three decades climbed to nearly 15,000 on Wednesday as troops, firemen and civilians battled against time to save more than 25,000 people buried under rubble and mud.

In Dujiangyan, a city close to the quake's epicentre in Wenchuan county, Sichuan province, stricken relatives watched as firemen plucked Zhang Xiaoyan and her mother from the flattened remains of their six-storey apartment block.

Zhang and her mother were taken by stretcher to an ambulance and rushed to hospital.

"We are very happy. We have been standing here shouting for two days," said Pan Jianjun, a relative. "We are so grateful to the government and Wen Jiabao for their help."

But most of the firefighters left with Zhang.

A skeleton crew with a simple ladder promised to return with sniffer dogs, but the families' predicament reflected the fate of many in this city where rescuers are still in short supply despite a massive government mobilisation.

"Please don't go. Save them, save them," shouted the weeping daughter of one of the three people the family said were still trapped alive.

Pan listed them as the Zhang's parents-in-law and her husband's grandmother.

In a damaged city where chaos still reigns, they have no idea which hospital their relatives have been taken to, and some of Zhang's family are not happy with authorities.

Sun Guoli, the fire chief from the provincial capital Chengdu who oversaw the dramatic rescue, said Dujiangyan still badly needed aid, but said more firemen would return to the damaged building.

"We have promised and we will do our best to get absolutely everyone out."

"These people are all our brothers and sisters," she said.

Pan and several other relatives were left alone at the building. They had nowhere else to go.

"We have no food or tents," Pan said, as people clambered over ruins to pull stock from shops and their personal belongings.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Mayıs 2008, 17:47