Father Urges Young Son Trapped by Quake to Hang On for Rescuers
EGION, Greece (AP) _ A Greek father held an around-the-clock vigil Friday for his son, urging the 8-year-old to hang on until rescue workers could free him from the ruins of a building flattened by a powerful earthquake.
At least 22 people were killed, 59 hospitalized and hundreds left homeless after the 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck about 3 a.m. Thursday.
The bodies of five French tourists were found Friday in the rubble of a collapsed hotel in this southwestern resort and port.
After the gruesome discovery, Capt. Didier Guinard, head of a French rescue team, said there were ``no more victims here. I see no further use for French assistance.″
Residents of a five-story apartment building that crumbled told The Associated Press on Friday that at least 20 people remain unaccounted for, however, and are believed buried under the tons of debris.
A Swiss rescue team with specially trained dogs heard the voices of two people, a 20-year-old handicapped woman and the young boy, Andreas Bogdanos, and spotted two others in the building’s debris.
The boy’s father, Haris Bogdanos, tried to reassure his son throughout his ordeal.
Bogdanos said he crawled into a tunnel rescuers had dug and touched his son’s hand.
``He said he’s not injured and I’m sure we’ll get him out soon,″ Bogdanos told journalists.
Rescue workers found the boy safe but trapped in a cupboard, and were working gingerly to free him, said the boy’s mother, Roula Frangonikolopoulou.
``It’s very difficult because it’s very dangerous. They do expect another earthquake anytime and the whole thing can come down,″ said Beat Kraettli, one of the Swiss rescue workers.
At least nine dead Greeks were pulled from the crumpled building Thursday.
Earlier Friday, a sharp tremor of 4.3 preliminary magnitude rolled through the Aegean Sea about 340 miles south of here, rocking parts of Crete.
No damage or injuries were reported.
In Egion, chunks of cement dangled Friday from crumpled buildings.
The regional governor, Efstratios Seretis, said 650 homes had been damaged beyond repair, 550 sustained serious damage and 920 were slightly damaged. About 400 tents have been set up in school playgrounds to house the homeless and food and water has been trucked in.