Man found in ‘miracle’ quake rescue


Dangerous terrain: Rescuers walking past fallen rocks from a landslide as they head to the earthquake-affected area in Shimian county, Ya’an city, southwestern Sichuan province. — AFP

Beijing: A worker who tended to his injured colleagues following a deadly earthquake and then got lost in the mountains has been rescued 17 days later.

The 6.6-magnitude quake struck southwestern Sichuan province earlier this month, killing at least 93 people and forcing thousands to be resettled into temporary camps.

Gan Yu, an employee at Sichuan’s Wandong hydropower plant, was found alive but injured on Wednesday by a local villager, state-owned China National Radio (CNR) said, calling the rescue a “miracle of life”.

Gan was on duty with his co-worker Luo Yong on Sept 5 when the quake hit, and the pair stayed behind to give first aid to injured colleagues and prevent flooding by releasing water from the dam.

They attempted to leave the remote power station, walking for around 20km.

But Gan – who is severely shortsighted – had lost his glasses during the quake and struggled to navigate the mountainous terrain, CNR said.

The two men tried desperately to signal distant rescuers for help.

They eventually decided that Gan should stay put while Luo went looking for assistance.

Luo helped make Gan a bed of moss and bamboo leaves and left him some wild fruit and bamboo shoots to eat before the two men separated.

Luo was found by rescuers on Sept 8 after using a fire to attract a helicopter’s attention, but by the time Gan’s temporary shelter was discovered on Sept 11, he had disappeared.

Earlier this week, farmer Ni Taigao returned to his village at the foot of the mountain where the power plant is located and heard about the hunt for Gan.

The villager put his local knowledge to use and joined the search.

After two hours of trekking, Gan was spotted lying under some trees.

He was later flown to a nearby hospital. — AFP

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