German survives four days under China quake rubble

A German tourist was pulled out of the wreckage of China's earthquake on Saturday, after being buried for 114 hours, Chinese state media said, offering hope that more miracle survival stories could yet emerge.

German survives four days under China quake rubble
Rescue workers search for survivors. Photo: DPA

Xinhua news agency said a military unit rescued the tourist at 8:10 am in Taoguan, a village just a few kilometres from the epicentre of last Monday’s massive quake that the government estimates killed more than 50,000 people.

Xinhua did not provide any other details about the tourist.

The rescue in southwestern Sichuan province’s Wenchuan county marks the longest time that a person is known to have survived in the rubble since the 7.9-magnitude quake.

On Friday, rescuers pulled 33 people alive from the rubble, among them at least one child in a collapsed school, according to state media.

Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday vowed to “spare no efforts” to save people as long as there remained some glimmer of hope.

But despite all-out efforts and the arrival of foreign rescue teams, officials have said that the chances of finding survivors greatly diminish 72 hours after an earthquake.

In other rescue operations, Xinhua said the Chinese military forces flew five South Korean students by helicopter from Wenchuan county to Sichuan’s capital Chengdu.

A 38-year-old French teacher who worked in Wenchuan was found safe in a camp for displaced people and will also be taken to Chengdu, said the consul in the city, Jacques Dumazy.

German diplomats could not immediately be reached over the tourist’s rescue.