Survivors continue to be found at site of collapsed building in Central China; effective self-rescue methods play vital role
Published: May 05, 2022 02:00 AM
Photo: Xinhua
The rescue site of a collapsed residential building in Changsha, the provincial capital of central China's Hunan Province. Photo: Xinhua News Agency

Another woman was rescued from the rubble at the site of the collapsed self-built residential building in Changsha, the provincial capital of Central China's Hunan Province, early on Thursday morning and taken to hospital, according to a report from China Central Television (CCTV).

The ninth person trapped in the collapsed building in Changsha was rescued at around 4:15 am on Wednesday after 39 people were reported missing near the site, an early report from the local media noted.

The latest survivor rescued from the accident, a 21-year-old woman, was successfully pulled from the rubble 88 hours after she was buried, read the report.

"The woman was in good physical and mental condition when she was rescued," Wen Peng, the commander of the rescue team, told local media on Wednesday, noting that the woman's excellent survival ability was the key to eventually finding her after exceeding the "golden 72 hours for rescue."

The woman later told rescuers that her survival techniques, like rationing drinking water and keeping her body temperature, were the keys to her perseverance.

According to rescue workers at the scene, the woman who was in bed at the time of the collapse fell from the fourth floor. Fortunately, the walls did not completely collapse and instead formed a triangle above her head.

The woman's precious half pot of water was the key to her survival. The water was so limited that she only drank one sip at a time. And even by the time she was rescued, water in the pot still remained.

In addition to the pot of water, a quilt also played a key role as temperatures widely changed between day and night during the more than three days of waiting for rescue. "I just quickly wrapped the quilt around myself when I felt cold," the woman told the rescuers.

Moreover, she never gave up hope and kept an eye on the situation while waiting for rescue. She used a hard object to knock on the wall next to her to signal for help when finally heard a noise not far from where she was.

"I did not knock when I heard the noise outside, but I knocked regularly when I felt that the rescuers were close or it was quiet outside and I soon got a response," the woman said.

Her cell phone lost signal after the collapse but even without a signal she could still be able to see the date and time. "I had a pretty good idea how long I had been stuck, so I did not panic," the woman said.

"I did not unlock my phone very often and I just looked at it when I wanted to know what time it was," the woman told the rescue crew, adding that she tried to save as much battery as possible. As a result, her phone still had power by the time she was rescued after 88 hours trapped.

According to the rescuers, these scientific and effective self-rescue methods won her more valuable rescue time.

Eleven relevant liable persons, including the actual operator of the collapsed self-built residential building, have been put under criminal coercive measures by the public security authorities in accordance with the law, the People's Daily reported on Wednesday.

At the same time, the Ministry of Public Security promptly deployed local public security organs to carry out an investigation and rectification of potential safety hazards and resolutely prevent the occurrence of major accidents.

Global Times