Monday 21 January 2019

'Miracle' baby found alive 35 hours after blast

Safe: A rescuer carries the 11-month-old child found in the rubble. Photo: Handout via REUTERS
Safe: A rescuer carries the 11-month-old child found in the rubble. Photo: Handout via REUTERS

Polina Devitt

A baby boy has been found alive after 35 hours spent in freezing cold in the rubble of a Russian apartment block that partially collapsed in an explosion, emergency officials reported, calling it a miracle.

The blast, thought to have been caused by a gas leak, damaged 48 apartments in a 10-storey building in the industrial city of Magnitogorsk on Monday, killing at least nine people with 32 people still missing.

Video footage from the local emergency ministry showed a rescue worker removing the baby dressed in pink socks and putting a blanket around him before he starts running towards an ambulance.

The current temperature in Magnitogorsk, home to one of Russia's largest steel plants in the Urals some 1,700km east of Moscow, is -17C.

The fact that the 11-month-old infant, currently diagnosed with a serious freezer burn and a closed-head injury, was lying in his bed and was wrapped up in layers saved his life, TASS news agency reported, citing a regional emergency centre.

The baby was found when a rescuer heard him crying and "a large-scale operation was immediately organised", Interfax news agency reported, citing emergency officials. His removal was difficult because of unstable debris which posed risks for rescuers.

"Hundreds of people were waiting for the appearance of the injured child from under the rubble like a miracle. And the miracle happened," the officials were quoted as saying by Interfax. "Tears drew in the eyes of the weather-beaten rescuers."

The boy's mother is alive and has arrived at the hospital, Interfax added.

Irish Independent

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