Moment baby pulled alive from rubble after Italy quake

Pauline Gross
August 23, 2017

Firefighters pulled the baby from the rubble some seven hours after the quake, and are continuing work on rescuing his two brothers.

Eleven-year old Ciro, the last child to be pulled from the rubble on the Italian island of Ischia Tuesday, saved his little brother's life when the deadly natural disaster struck, rescuers workers said.

Two people were killed and as many as 39 injured in the quake, which measured 4.3 on the Richter scale. The other victim was a 65-year old Italian tourist discovered in the rubble of a collapsed house, local media said. The mother, who Italian media say is heavily pregnant, managed to escape through a window while rescuers helped the father. "Then they began speaking again and we drew comfort from that", said Luca Cari, a firefighter spokesman.

The boys' father, whose hands were bandaged after spending the night digging through the rubble alongside the firefighters, could be seen tearfully hugging relatives as his eldest son was saved.

"We are in touch with both of the boys". They kept talking to them and fed water to them through a tube. Casamicciola was the epicenter of an 1883 quake that killed more than 2,000 people. On Tuesday, streets were clogged, with tourists' cars queuing to board ferries taking them home.

Together with the nearby island of Capri, Ischia is a favorite island getaway for the European jet set, famed in particular for its thermal waters. Three children were trapped under a building that had collapsed in La Rita, a small village near Casamicciola.

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The extent of the damage for a relatively light quake raised questions about the quality of construction on the island in the seismically active area off Naples and the active volcano, and the prevalence of illegally built structures.

Italy's national volcanology institute said the temblor struck a few minutes before 9 p.m., just as many people were having dinner.

Former Naples prosecutor Aldo De Chiara said most of the recently constructed buildings on Ischia were built without necessary permits, and many with poor quality cement. "Unfortunately, what we had denounced happened last night".

Giovanni Vittozzi of the carabinieri's civil protection department tells Italy's Sky TG24 that several buildings in Ischia's Casamicciola town have collapsed.

Police said all but one of the people known to be trapped were responding to rescuers and were expected to be extracted alive, including three children. In 1883 around 2,300 people died after a quake hit Casamicciola.

Other reports by GizPress

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