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Babies Found Crying In Cribs Buried Under Rubble With AM-Mexico Quakes

September 25, 1985

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Two babies found crying in their cribs, their faces covered with rubble, were rescued Tuesday after surviving for five days in the wreckage of a hospital that collapsed in the first of two killer earthquakes.

The infants were a boy born last Wednesday, the day before the first earthquake, and a two-month-old girl, Red Cross workers who found them said. About eight other cribs in the pocket of ruins reached through a tunnel were empty, they said.

Miguel Gonzalez Juarez, the first to hear the babies’ cries, said they appeared to be in ″fantastic″ condition, considering how long they had been without food or water.

″During the whole time we were trying to rescue them they cried, but we talked to them,″ he said.

″At one point they started to sleep but the doctor said not to let them,″ Gonzalez added. ″We moved their legs, or the cribs″ to keep them awake.

″What was noticeable was that when the second to be rescued, the boy, felt the hand picking him up he immediately stopped crying.″

A 14-year-old boy, Andres Elizalde Corona, lay on his back in the tunnel to reach the babies, then passed them over his body to another rescuer.

Gonzalez said the six-day-old boy cried louder than the girl, possibly because the girl may have become weaker since she had been used to being fed.

Gonzalez was atop the pile of concrete and plaster at the Juarez Hospital combing a section for signs of life when he heard a cry at about 7 p.m. Monday.

″You couldn’t hear anything because of the work going on,″ he said. ″Then it stopped for a moment and I could hear the cry.

″When I began to go through all the rubble, I was desperate to save them quickly and the tears fell. There were four cribs ahead that we had to cut in sections to remove.″

The babies were taken out between midnight and 1 a.m. Tuesday.

″I don’t know how they lived, but they lived,″ Gonzalez said. ″They had rocks on their heads and faces that could have suffocated them.″

He said the babies were in a pocket about a yard long and 11/2 yards wide, and had been missed by dogs used to search for bodies and signs of life.

″The rails of the metal cribs protected them,″ said Manuel Diez, a Red Cross commander for a section of Mexico City.

Medical help was called in while the babies were still in the rubble, which the workers dug out with their hands.

The babies were lowered to the ground in the basket of a crane.

The girl is the daughter of Euelia Gasca Rojas, whom authorities were trying to locate. They said the boy is the son of Ines Cruz Soriano, who was presumed to have been in the hospital but was not among the identified survivors or dead.

″When we put them in the ambulance, we told the drivers, ″take care of our daughter, take care of our son,″ Diez said. ″Really, they were born again.″

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