The Chengdu Military Area Command has evacuated over 20 foreign tourists from Wenchuan. It was the first time they used helicopters to transfer quake victims out of the danger zone.
When the quake struck Sichuan, a German traveler was driving through the epicenter, together with his Chinese guide and translator.
The German traveler was among the first foreign contingent transferred out of Wenchuan by helicopter.
An ordinary bridge on National Highway 317 saved the travelers' lives. Several vehicles that were driving toward them were not so lucky. They were buried by landslides. After being trapped for over ten hours, the travelers were finally rescued by teams from the Chengdu Military Area Command, who risked their own lives to save them.
Wang Likang from Chengdu Military Area Command said, "There's a section of the road where vehicles still cannot pass through, and there have been aftershocks throughout. Two of our soldiers were wounded by mudslides."
The German traveler was among the first foreign contingent transferred out of Wenchuan by helicopter. They were moved to Chengdu. With them were 4 Chinese American, 2 Dutch, and 14 Taiwan tourists, as well as 4 foreign teachers.
A traveler said, "We want to thank the US Consulate, the Chinese military, the Chengdu Military Area Command, and all the rescuers."
About 700 Taiwan residents who had been stranded in Chengdu and Chongqing Municipality since the quake have now returned to the island. They were flown back on 4 chartered flights on Friday and Saturday.
(CCTV May 20, 2008)