Friday, May 16, 2008

100 hours after quake, survivor plucked from rubble


"Six million two-hundred forty thousand one hundred and eighteen bottles of beer on the wall, six million two-hundred forty thousand one hundred and eighteen bottles of beer..."

Cheering Chinese soldiers pulled a survivor from the wreckage of a fertiliser plant today, 100 hours after the massive Sichuan earthquake.

100 hours of laying in fertiliser? Ouch.

Lin Deyun is a 50-year-old driver who should not even have been in the Yinfeng Fertiliser Plant when the earthquake struck on Monday afternoon: he had been due just to make a quick delivery.

Funny how life is sometimes ain't it? One minute you're making a quick delivery to a fertiliser plant and the next 100 hours your laying underneath ten tons of ceiling with the smell of animal shit in your nostrils.

But when the building crumpled under the force of an earthquake that has now killed at least 20,000, he was in the games room.

"I'll just stop for a quick game of Pac-Man. What's it going to hurt?"

His incredible rescue began when a team picking through the ruins yesterday heard sounds of life. To their amazement, they were able to speak to the trapped driver.

"Just hang in there sir."
"Oh take your time."

Lacking the equipment to dig down through the rubble, they called in a specialist team from the People's Liberation Army.

They had shovels.

They also telephoned his daughter and wife, and asked them to come to the site to keep up his spirits.

That would be the last thing I needed. After 100 hours of laying in rubble all I want is to hear my wife and daughter bitching about having to take out the garbage the last four days.

His daughter, Lin Yuan, told The Times: "I talked to my father yesterday. I called out: 'Daddy' and he said: 'I want water'. I was crying. He said he could not move at all."

"Water...and noseplugs please. It smells like shit down here."

It eventually took the rescue team 22 hours to free him. His body was pinned down by such heavy concrete that doctors had to amputate a part of one of his arms and one of his legs.

Oh this is one of those feel-good articles.

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