The miracle of life can occur even in the hardest circumstances. In the city of Dujianyan, a 20-year-old woman has been rescued from the rubble over 50 hours after the quake.
Rubble and debris dominate this residential area. But rescuers had not given up hope of finding signs of life. And their faith was justified. On Tuesday morning, they heard very weak moaning near a basement. Veteran rescue workers guided soldiers from the Chengdu Military Command and local firefighters as they opened up a narrow crevice. Rescuers were then able to converse with the woman trapped there. Weak but still composed, she said her name was Jia Zhengjiao and the day was her 20th birthday.
But getting her out safely wasn't easy. More digging could bring down the building if not done right. And aftershocks could come anytime.
With analysis born from experience, rescue experts decided to use a crane to secure the entire framework of the building and move away rocks and bricks around her one by one.
Rescue expert Shi Shuzhong said, "She can't move because a wooden framework locks her in. We have to find ways to secure the framework and make sure it won't break during digging. If it breaks, the debris it holds will collapse."
Jia Zhengjiao was actually crawling underneath some rocks. Rescuers could talk to her, but they still couldn't see her. Knowing the strain she must've been under for nearly 20 hours, rescuers kept chatting with her to keep her spirits up.
The rescue operation continued for a whole day. At noon on Wednesday, the rocks around Jia were finally cleared away, allowing her to move in the narrow space.
Rescuers secured her with ropes to pull her out. But they didn't know her right leg was caught between two rocks.
The race against time became even more critical. After hours of digging, the building structure continued to decay and large rocks began falling. Rescue experts tried another approach. They used solid wood boards to isolate the space around Jia. This allowed them to dig out a pathway to free her leg. Getting it just right took hours, and rescuers worked through the night.
Bai Guangzhong, deputy Political Commissar of Air Force, Chengdu Military Area Command, said, "We are the People's Liberation Army. Even if there is only a glimmer of hope, we will carry our efforts to the end. "
More than 40 hours after she was found, Jia was finally pulled free. After an immediate exam, doctors pronounced her just lightly injured, and extremely exhausted.
(CCTV May 16, 2008)