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Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Latest News
UPDATED: May 18, 2008  
Six Days After Quake, China Still Goes all-out to Search for Survivors

More people were pulled out from debris as exhausted rescuers kept searching for survivors six days after the rare earthquake jolted Sichuan Province, southwest China.

A man was rescued at 9:15 a.m. Sunday from a collapsed hospital of Beichuan County, 139 hours after the May 12 quake which has claimed the lives of more than 20,000.

The man, Tang Xiong, was only slightly bruised and in his right senses when he was pulled out, said rescuers. His wife was rescued on Thursday.

Zhang Xiaoping, 46, was pulled from a collapsed residential building in Dujiangyan, a quake-hit city near the epicenter Wenchuan County, at about 11:06 p.m. Saturday, after being buried for almost 129 hours in the rubble.

Before he was rescued, doctors were forced to amputate Zhang's lower legs firmly stuck in the collapsed building after other rescue plans failed.

Two doctors managed to get into the incommodious area and successfully conducted the amputation for Zhang in about an hour.

The survivor, in sober mind, was carefully carried out by firefighters amid strong applause and immediately sent to hospital for further treatment.

Despite the joint rescue efforts, Zhang died at 1:05 a.m. in a hospital due to heart failure.

Although the time for the best chance of rescue, the first 72 hours after an earthquake, has passed, "saving lives remains the top priority of our work," Chinese President Hu Jintao told rescuers and distraught survivors on Friday at the quake-hit city of Mianyang after more than two hours of flight from Beijing.

He urged emergency workers not to give up efforts to find survivors. "We should put people first and saving people's lives is still the top priority of the relief work," he stressed.

During the inspection of Wenchuan on Saturday, Hu urged rescue teams to reach remote villages that were battered by the strong earthquake as soon as possible.

Professional rescue teams and life detection equipment should be immediately sent to where people were buried, the president said.

(Xinhua News Agency May 18, 2008)

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