Saturday 25 January 2020

Italy earthquake: Video shows dramatic moment a schoolgirl trapped for 17 hours is pulled alive from rubble

The death toll from the quake has hit 247, and is expected to continue rising

Adam Withnall

At first, there is just a faint sound. "You can hear something under here. Quiet, quiet," says one of the Italian rescue workers, shifting aside dirt and debris from the earthquake more than 17 hours earlier with his bare hands.

Then, suddenly, a tiny bare leg small emerges, at an improbable angle and partially obscured by a huge metal girder.

This is the extraordinary moment when, with hope fading for the chances of any survivors so long trapped under the rubble, a little girl no more than 10 years old was pulled out alive.

She has been identified only by her first name in Italian media, and in the video of her rescue, the rescue workers appear to know her.

"Come on, Giulia, come on, Giulia," they say, telling her it is finally safe to move and twist her body towards them.

Cheers broke out when she was pulled out.

But for every story like Giulia's in Pescara del Tronto, a village all-but wiped out by the quake, there are nine more where the person under the rubble is not so lucky. 

"Unfortunately, 90 percent we pull out are dead, but some make it, that's why we are here," said Christian Bianchetti, a volunteer from Rieti who was working in devastated Amatrice where flood lights were set up so the rescue could continue through the night.

Italy's civil protection agency said early on Thursday that the death toll had risen to 247. It is expected to continue rising further.

Independent News Service

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