World

Man buried for 67 hours in Shenzhen landslide found alive

He survived 67 hours buried under eight metres of rubble.

Migrant worker Tian Zeming, 21, was among the 76 people reported missing after the massive landslide in Shenzhen destroyed more than 30 buildings on Sunday.

Mr Tian was rescued yesterday. He said he managed to stay alive by thinking of his mother and eating sunflower seeds and grapefruit, Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post reported.

Mr Tiantold AFP he managed to remain conscious throughout the ordeal by tapping with a stone to attract the attention of rescue workers.

He told rescuers, after they dug a hole down to just above his head, that he kept telling himself, "I must get out".

He said he had been lucky that food, including sunflower seeds and grapefruit, fell into the hole with him after the landslide.

DEHYDRATED

Mr Tian, who had been partially protected by a door, had become dehydrated because had no water to drink, Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported. He was able to breathe fresh air thanks to cracks running through the walls of the building.

Officials said he was lucky to be alive because the building's wall held firm. Doctors said he was suffering from multiple broken bones, a crushed right leg, numerous cuts and grazes, plus severe dehydration.

He underwent four hours of surgery as doctors battled to save his severely injured leg.

Mr Tian was first located by firemen using three separate life detectors at about 3.30am yesterday, said Mr Zhou Qiang, the official in charge of the rescue efforts.

Workers began to drill holes into the mud and debris that had buried the building, eventually reaching the rooftop of the building after digging an eight-metre-deep hole.

"The rescuers saw a hand moving and reported this to their supervisors immediately," Mr Gao Cunyi, head of Guangdong firemen brigade, said at a press conference.

Although firemen were able to touch Mr Tian's hands after digging the first hole, his leg was still trapped by debris, Xinhua news agency reported.

Rescuers spent another three hours digging a second hole in the rubble so they could get into a small area that had not been crushed and lift the debris pinning his leg.

Mr Tian was given oxygen and an intravenous drip during the rescue, before being taken to hospital.

Many of those missing are reportedly migrant workers from Henan, one of China's poorest provinces, The Guardian reported.

Mr Zhang Hu, a city deputy mayor, told the BBC that four bodies had so far been found and he pledged to continue with the search operation.

More than 5,000 people are involved in the rescue effort.

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