French firefighters pull woman from quake rubble

30th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

NIAS, Indonesia, March 30 (AFP) - French firefighters on Wednesday rescued a woman trapped for 39 hours under the rubble of a building destroyed when a massive earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Nias.

NIAS, Indonesia, March 30 (AFP) - French firefighters on Wednesday rescued a woman trapped for 39 hours under the rubble of a building destroyed when a massive earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Nias.

Christian Lantonnet of Pompiers sans Frontieres, or Firefighters Without Borders, said the woman was pulled out after his team found her while searching through ruins where other survivors said someone might be buried.

"We succeeded to rescue from the rubble of a house, a victim alive at around 2:00 pm," Lantonnet told AFP.

The 8.7-magnitude quake struck shortly after 11pm on Monday, causing major damage on Nias and other nearby islands off the coast of Sumatra, and leaving hundreds dead.

"She was very weak and was rushed to the hospital," he said.

Lantonnet said his five-man team had arrived on the island on Tuesday, flying in from nearby Aceh province where they had been helping survivors of the December 26 tsunami, which caused massive damage there.

He said a second team was expected to arrive on Thursday with sniffer dogs to search for people still buried.

"We began to search the rubble of houses today, partly to make it known to the population that we are also here to help them.

"People said that there are still many victims trapped in the rubble. In some areas, because it is quite hot, the smell of decomposing flesh has begun to come out of the rubble," he said.

Lantonnet declined to speculate on how many people may still be buried.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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