Survivor pulled from debris 50 hours after mudslide

Updated: 2010-08-10 13:58
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ZHOUQU, Gansu - A 52-year-old Tibetan was pulled alive from the debris of a toppled apartment building Tuesday, more than 50 hours after a massive landslide leveled Zhouqu county in Northwest China's Gansu province.

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The man, by name of Liu Ma Shindan, was rescued at 11:20 am in the ruins of a residential building for telecommunication workers in the county seat, said an officer with the Lanzhou Military Area Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

He was saved by rescuers from the neighboring Sichuan Province.

Doctors said his heart rate and breathing were normal, but he was too weak to speak. They covered his eyes with a towel to avoid vision impairment from the daylight, and gave him an injection of glucose.

The man received first-aid at a makeshift clinic in the county seat.

Rescuers found indications at midday Monday that survivors might still be buried in the debris, and had kept searching over the past 24 hours.

They also retrieved four bodies at the same site.

More than 7,000 troops were battling through sludge and rubble Tuesday in a round-the-clock operation to find survivors, two days after mudslide leveled the county.

At least 337 people are dead and 1,148 are still missing after the rain-triggered mudslides early Sunday in Zhouqu County, of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

At least 30 percent of the local population are Tibetan. Many people have half Tibetan, half Chinese names, as a result of intermarriages between the two ethnic groups.