Two survivors found eight days after Chinese quake

As China entered a second day of mourning for what could be 70,000 dead in the Sichuan earthquake, there are still miracles happening. Rescuers pulled a 31-year-old man and a 60-year old woman to safety, more than a week after the earthquake struck Sichuan province on 12 May.

Wang Youqun, a pensioner, was pulled out of the rubble yesterday having survived on rainwater to stay alive for a total 195 hours. A Hong Kong television station reported that she suffered only a hip fracture and bruises on her face after being knocked unconscious for a day by a girder which hit her head during the quake. She was buried under the rubble of a temple, in the city of Pengzhou, which was swept away in a landslide. The television report said she was initially able to move, but a later aftershock trapped her between two large stones.

Ma Yuanjiang was saved from the debris of the Yingxiu Bay hydropower plant at Wenchuan, where he worked as a director, after 179 hours trapped under rubble on the second floor of the station. It took a rescue team of Shanghai firefighters 30 hours to get him out, according to the Xinhua news agency, during which time rescuers fed him sweetened water through a straw. Wenchuan is at the epicentre of the quake and is still largely cut off.

Aftershocks continue to hamper relief efforts, particularly around Wenchuan, while rain and searing heat is combining to make the process a torturous one. Mr Ma was able to speak and began to eat small amounts of food, said his workmate Wu Geng.

His left forearm had to be amputated and he was suffering from infection, but he was expected to live, said doctors in Chongqing.

Wang Weidong, president of the local hospital, said Mr Ma's condition was as fragile as that of a newborn. "Every drop of liquid into and from the body, even an emotional relaxation, could lead to death," said Dr Wang.

While there are occasional stories of miracles, the focus of the relief effort has now shifted to digging bodies from the rubble.

Sichuan's Communist Party chief, Liu Qibao, said about 9,500 people were still trapped in the debris, and their chances of survival were getting slimmer.

Amid fears of infection, rescuers are taking photos of the bodies, before disinfecting them and then burying them. The photos will be collected and sent to local government offices where relatives can identify the victims later.

"We took 30 cameras with us when we came for the rescue," said Tang Yanfengx, a brigadier leading rescue work in Pengzhou City, one of the worst-hit areas.

"Some people may never have a chance to see the bodies of their families, and we hope it'll be a comfort to those if they could see their last photos," he said.

So far 40,000 victims have been confirmed dead and a further 32,000 were missing yesterday. Five million have been left homeless. The region is dotted with tent towns as people move into temporary housing and wait to see what the next step will be.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future