Pregnant woman rescued from quake rubble

An eight-months pregnant woman was pulled to safety today after two days trapped in the rubble of the Chinese earthquake.

A second woman was rescued minutes later in the same place in rare good news in Sichuan province, where the official death toll has risen to nearly 15,000 from Monday’s massive quake.

Rescuers could speak to Zhang Xiaoyan but had to move slowly in trying to dig her out for fear that the rubble above her would shift and collapse onto her.

“It is very moving. It’s a miracle brought about by us all working together,” said Sun Guoli, the fire chief of nearby Chengdu, the provincial capital.

“It’s a miracle of life, using one’s life to save a life,” she said as she watched Zhang being taken away in an ambulance.

Sun was on the scene for the whole of the 50-hour rescue operation.

Zhang and the other woman were trapped about 18 feet high in a pile of concrete slabs and other debris after their building collapsed. Details on the other woman were not immediately known.

Both looked shaken but not seriously injured when they were pulled out. “We were told by engineers that the building was very dangerous and highly unstable so the rescue operation was very risky. But it shows how much value we put on saving lives,” Sun said.

The rescue was not the only one today. In the Beichuan region further north in Sichuan, a three-year-old girl who was trapped for more than 40 hours under the bodies of her parents was pulled to safety, the official Xinhua New Agency said.

It said rescuers heard Song Xinyi yesterday morning, but were unable to pull her out immediately due to fears the debris above her would collapse.

She was fed and shielded from the rain until rescuers extricated her from the rubble.

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