10 days after quake: Israeli team pulls man from rubble

Personnel pull 22-year-old from under collapsed building, after being alerted by local residents; Over 110,000 people confirmed dead

January 25, 2010 06:00
2 minute read.
Israeli rescue team pulls 22-year-old Emmanuel Bus

haiti rescue earthquake IDF. (photo credit: AP)

An Israeli search and rescue team saved a 22-year-old Haitian man from the rubble of a collapsed building in Port-au-Prince on Friday, according to a statement from the IDF Spokesperson, 10 days after a massive earthquake devastated the Caribbean country.

The statement said that the man was in a stable condition, and being treated at the IDF field hospital.

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Local residents alerted the Israeli team to the trapped man's location.

One member of the rescue team, IDF Maj. Zohar Moshe, was quoted in the statement as saying that "American and French doctors were unable to rescue the trapped man and called upon the Israeli delegation's search and rescue teams who rescued the man within half an hour, from a tunnel, 2.5-3-meters long and were able to release him whole and healthy."

More than 110,000 people have been confirmed dead in the magnitude-7.0 earthquake, the Haitian Interior Ministry said on Friday. Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime put the toll from the January 12 quake at 111,499.

Earlier Friday, doctors said a 69-year-old woman was pulled from the wreckage of a building, but some teams were giving up the search and efforts focused on expanding aid for survivors.

On Thursday, Brig.-Gen. Shalom Ben-Aryeh, commander of the Israeli field hospital in Port-au-Prince, said that the IDF delegation would return home only after it was confident that the wounded were receiving proper treatment.

"As long as we don't have someone authoritative to take our wounded we won't leave," Ben-Aryeh said.

The IDF hospital, he said, has treated more than 450 patients, delivered seven babies and performed dozens of surgeries.

On Monday, Haiti announced that it had buried 70,000 bodies in mass graves as search and rescue personnel were continuing their efforts to find more survivors or dead trapped under the debris.

On Sunday, once the American hospital starts functioning, Ben-Aryeh said that he planned to hold consultations with the IDF brass about returning to Israel. There is a possibility that replacements for current members of the delegation will be sent to Haiti if the IDF decides to remain on the island.

"The decision will be made on Sunday," he said. "If we decide to stay longer we will replace some of the teams."

About 400 wounded and sick have been treated at the field hospital, which is located in a soccer field in the center of town, with about 140 operations carried out by the Israelis.

An IsraAid medical team consisting of 15 professionals, among them post-trauma experts, is set to leave for Haiti on Friday night.

Upon landing in Port-au-Prince, the team will assist the country in efforts to recover from the massive earthquake which struck it over a week ago. The medical personnel will also visit other areas which were affected by the earthquake.

Judy Siegel and Yaakov Katz contributed to this report
Judy Siegel and Yaakov Katz contributed to this report

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