Haiti girl saved from rubble after 15 days

Haiti girl saved from rubble after 15 days

Darlene Etienne at a military hospital after being rescued from a collapsed building in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday. AP

A French search team saved 16-year-old Darlene Etienne on Wednesday after neighbours heard a voice in the debris of a house in Port-Au-Prince, ending what appeared to be the longest ordeal of any survivor so far following the January 12 disaster. “She just said ‘thank you,’ she’s very weak, which suggests that she’s been there for 15 days,” Commander Samuel Bernes of the rescue team said.

“She was in a pocket surrounded by concrete. She was treated on the spot, she wasn’t able to get out alone.”

International rescue teams have saved around 135 people who were buried alive when the 7.0-magnitude quake shattered the capital and several other towns in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

The last was a 31-year-old man rescued by a US team on Tuesday, although he was thought to have been entombed by a powerful aftershock around two days after the initial tremor struck.

Haiti’s President Rene Preval said “nearly 170,000” bodies had now been counted since the quake, significantly higher than previous estimates of 150,000.

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