Man rescued 81 hours after NW China mudslides

Updated: 2010-08-11 16:31
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ZHOUQU - A 50-year-old man was freed Wednesday after more than three days trapped in knee-deep sludge from deadly mudslides that ravaged Zhouqu county in Northwest China's Guansu province.

Wang Dianlan was found at about 9 am by troops of the People's Liberation Army Lanzhou Military Area Command on the second floor of Zhouqu's Fuxing Hotel, which withstood Sunday's massive mudslides.

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The troops were searching door to door for survivors in nearby buildings, located in a lake formed by mudslide debris 81 hours earlier.

Wang had survived on dry noodles, but he was dehydrated and stuck in sludge.

He was in stable condition, according to military sources.

Wang was slightly deaf, and, according to the sources, did not hear the rescuers nor look for help until Wednesday when he ran out of food.

Hopes are fading after the end of the 72-hour "golden window" for survivors, considered the optimum time for rescue.

At least 702 people were killed and 1,042 others are missing after Sunday's mudslides.

At least 30 percent of the local population are Tibetan.