Boy Rescued Alive, Ending Quake Ordeal That Captivated A Nation
EGION, Greece (AP) _ An 8-year-old boy buried beneath an apartment house that collapsed in a deadly earthquake was pulled out alive late Friday, ending a 44-hour ordeal that captivated the nation.
Greeks watched on television as rescuers carried out Andreas Bogdanos under the glare of floodlights, placed him on a stretcher and covered him with a white sheet as his father stood by. As he was carried to an ambulance, he tried to raise his arm and wave to an applauding crowd.
Bogdanos was trapped in the debris of the five-story apartment house when the magnitude 6.1 quake struck early Thursday, killing 22 people and seriously injuring 59 others in this southwestern port town. Hundreds of people were left homeless.
The bodies of five French tourists were found Friday in the rubble of a collapsed hotel.
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 the five-story apartment building that crumbled told The Associated Press on Friday that at least 20 people remained unaccounted for and were believed buried under the tons of debris.
A Swiss rescue team with specially trained dogs heard the voices of Bogdanos and a 20-year-old woman, and spotted two others in the building’s debris. By late Friday, however, only the boy had been rescued.
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.
A doctor, Dimitros Spiros, said after the rescue that the boy was dehydrated but otherwise in good condition.
At least nine dead Greeks were pulled from the crumpled building Thursday.
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, 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 were trucked in.