Father Urges Young Son to Hang On After Greek Quake Kills At Least 22
EGION, Greece (AP) _ A Greek man held a round-the-clock vigil by a collapsed building today, encouraging his trapped 8-year-old son to hang on until rescue workers could reach him.
At least 22 people were killed, 59 hospitalized and hundreds left homeless after 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Thursday in the middle of the night.
The bodies of five French tourists were found today in the rubble of a collapsed hotel wing. Officials earlier had said seven French tourists were missing, but the French rescue team leader, Capt. Didier Guinard, said today there were no more victims at the hotel.
Residents of a five-story apartment building that crumbled told The Associated Press today at least 20 people were still unaccounted for and may be buried under the tons of rubble.
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.
Rescue workers today tunneled into the boy, and found him in a cupboard, but were still working to free him, according to 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.
Fire chief Panaghiotis Nikas said he spoke to Andreas and it appears he was not hurt, and an unidentified rescue worker said they were able to reach in and touch the boy’s hand.
At least nine dead Greeks were pulled from the crumpled building Thursday.
Elsewhere in Egion, slabs of cement dangled from crumpled buildings and shattered glass littered the streets.
The regional governor, Efstratios Seretis, said today that 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.
Meanwhile, a sharp tremor of 4.3 preliminary magnitude rolled through the Aegean Sea early today, some 340 miles south of here, rocking parts of Crete.
There were no reports of damage or injuries.