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Girl survives earthquake, thanks to dead parents
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A three-year-old girl in Beichuan, one of the counties that suffered the most from Monday's earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province, has magically survived under the dead bodies of her parents.

Song Xinyi's legs were seriously injured under the weight of her parents and many layers of rubbles, but she could still talk when rescuers pulled her out at 9:40 AM, after more than 40 hours.

She explained the three Chinese characters that made up her name, and told everybody she loved painting and watching TV. Despite a coin-sized wound on her forehead, she still looked pretty.

Doctors checked her wound and bandaged her, but said an immediate operation was probably the only way to save her legs.

Premier Wen Jiabao, who visited Beichuan on Wednesday morning, consoled her and checked her wounds before she was carried onto an ambulance and sent to hospital.

Rescuers found Song on Tuesday morning, but were unable to reach her right away. Her head and shoulders were seen but her legs were buried under her parents' bodies, and any careless moves could cause her further injury.

They gave her food, milk and sheltered her from the heavy rain as they cleaned the ruins to approach her.

Early on Wednesday, a group of rescuers from Liaoning Province brought tools to lever the wreckage while others supported the ramshackle wall with chunks of wood to prevent it from toppling.

As the crowd celebrated Song's survival, they lamented her parents, who sacrificed their own lives at the critical moment to save the little girl.

Up to 5,000 people were said dead in the mountainous county with about 20,000 people, around 160 kilometers northeast of the epicenter Wenchuan.

The quake toppled 80 percent of the buildings. In Beichuan Middle School alone, at least 1,000 students were buried.

(Xinhua News Agency May 14, 2008)

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