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Rescue Worker Says There is “A Sign of Life” In Apartment Debris

June 17, 1995

EGION, Greece (AP) _ Amid aftershocks, rescue workers crawled through the debris of a collapsed apartment building today hoping to find more survivors of an earthquake that killed 23 people and injured more than 60.

Rescuers said they heard something as Swiss and French teams used sonar listening devices deep in the cracks of the rubble.

French civil defense member Alain Ricci said there was ``a sign of life, not very strong, but there is one. Someone was knocking.″

``Now our job is to work as fast as hell,″ said Capt. Didier Guinard, head of the French group working in this southwestern port town.

The death toll increased to 23 today when a woman was found crushed under a cement slab. Nearby, workers found seven live canaries in their three cages.

As the workers dug in an area where they believed were more bodies, aftershocks rolled through Egion and set off fears that a wall of the five-story building would collapse on them. A picture of Jesus Christ nailed to the wall of a room on the top floor swayed back and forth.

An 8-year-old boy buried beneath the apartment house debris was rescued Friday night, ending a 44-hour ordeal that captivated the nation.

Workers carried out Andreas Bogdanos under the glare of floodlights, put him on a stretcher and covered him with a white sheet as his father stood by. As he was carried to an ambulance, the boy tried to raise his arm and wave to an applauding crowd.

His father, Haris, who had talked to his son throughout his ordeal, said he had crawled into the tunnel earlier and touched Andreas’ hand through a crack in the debris. ``To give him encouragement our conversation centered on pleasant subjects,″ the father added.

Doctors reported the boy was in good condition.

Bogdanos was trapped when a 6.1 magnitude quake struck before dawn Thursday in the Gulf of Corinth area, some 90 miles southwest of Athens.

The quake demolished or damaged more than 2,000 buildings around Egion, leaving more than 1,000 people homeless. Two columns of an ancient temple at Delphi near Nafpaktos, across the eight-mile-wide gulf from Egion, were slightly damaged.

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