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Five 100-ton cranes work at Beichuan Middle School
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At 20:36 on May 15, China.org.cn journalist Luo Qi reports from the Beichuan Middle School, Beichuan County, one of the worst-hit disaster areas during the earthquake.

He just got off the bus from Mianyang to Beichuan and was witnessing the rescue endeavor at the Beichuan Middle School. Five cranes were in operation at the site. Luo learned that they are all 100-tonne lift-capacity. Lamps had been turned on along both sides of the road.

More than 100 soldiers in five lines were removing the rubble in a quick and efficient manner. This suggested that the rescue work had entered a secondary clear-up phase.

On the way from Mianyang to Beichuan, Luo saw two ambulances rushing toward the urban district of Mianyang. According to the members of Mianyang Fire Detachment in the same bus, these vehicles were transporting the injured.

There are plenty of temporary tents near the school. A number of citizen volunteer drivers brought in food and drinking water for the rescue staff. The reporter took instant noodles and water with him, and there should be no problem about his accommodation.

Luo flew to Chengdu by plane on the morning of May 15, and then took a taxi to Mianyang. At around 6:30 PM, he left for the disaster area of Beichuan County in a Mianyang Fire Detachment bus.

There were two teams in the bus composed of 20 fire officers and men from Mianyang Fire Detachment. They're around 20 years old and this is the second time they have been into Beichuan.

On their first trip, they saved over 20 teachers and students in Beichuan Middle School and returned home to Mianyang Wednesday evening. They were back to Beichuan within 20 hours. Their expressions are weary.

According to Luo, terrible scenes of destruction line the roads: collapsed houses, broken roads, landslips on the mountain sides and victims in need of help. Heavy-duty plant is available, but it's still on the outskirts of the town. Few people have been into the central urban districts.

(China.org.cn, May 16, 2008)

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