The Gengda Township, only 23 kilometers away from the epicenter, was completely cut off from the outside world after the earthquake. After being trapped for 10 days, all the survivors were airlifted to safety by PLA soldiers.
After being trapped for 10 days, all the survivors were airlifted to safety by PLA soldiers.
Once the weather conditions were deemed suitable on Thursday, the Chengdu Military Area Command immediately dispatched a detachment of soldiers stationed at Yingxiu, 23 kilometers away from Gengda.
Xu Yongfei, the major general leading the mission, said the soldiers had already attempted four landings in the badly-hit community. All efforts had been thwarted thus far, because of difficult terrain caused by landslides.
Gengda is located on a lowland in the midst of mountains. Landslides triggered by the earthquake have cut off all roads to the outside. During Thursday afternoon's operation, the army helicopter again had great difficulty finding a place to land. After several attempts, it was decided to drop off a few soldiers who could clear the ground. After circling for about twenty minutes, the chopper finally touched down.
Shortly before 6pm, the soldiers entered the earthquake shelters carrying stretchers. After a preliminary evaluation of the survivors' condition, three critically injured were immediately transferred to the provincial capital of Chengdu for medical treatment.
(CCTV May 26, 2008)