Indonesia earthquake: Rescuers find boy, 6, who was trapped under rubble for two days

Dozens of people are still missing after an earthquake on Monday devastated the Cianjur region

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A six-year-old boy has been rescued in Indonesia after spending two days trapped under the rubble without food or water, rescue workers said on Thursday.

The boy’s rescue on Wednesday evening, which was captured on camera, has revived hopes that more survivors can be found after the magnitude 5.6 earthquake caused landslides in West Java, killing at least 271 people.

Authorities said the boy’s mother and grandmother had died when their house collapsed but the boy was saved after being trapped next to a wall which did not collapse.

Many of the victims of Monday’s disaster were schoolchildren attending classes at the time of the earthquake. At least 80 schools were damaged and 20 children are said to have died in one school alone.

Azka, who goes by one name, was found in Cianjur's devastated district of Cugenang.

Video of the rescue showed the man who pulled him out holding him in both arms as another rescue worker in an orange hard hat ran after them to hold the boy's hand.

Azka was then shown calmly sipping a drink, held by a soldier as another emergency worker stroked his hair.

“He was found on the left side of the house, on a bed. He was protected by a pillow and there was a 10-centimetre gap between him and the concrete slab,” Jeksen, a local volunteer, told AFP.

“Such a narrow space, it was dark, hot and there was not enough hole for air.

“We didn't expect him to still be alive after 48 hours; if we knew, we would have tried harder the night before.

“For all the years since I became a volunteer, I have never seen anything like this. How can you not cry?”

Authorities said time was running out as rescue workers were delayed by hammering rain and potentially deadly aftershocks.

“Today, for the search and rescue operation, we deployed 6,000 people. It was raining but we keep searching,” said Suharyanto, head of the national disaster mitigation agency, better known as BNPB.

“Please pray for us so the 40 missing people could be found.”

Updated: November 25, 2022, 11:47 AM
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