Miracle in Haiti: A Shop Clerk Rescued After 11 Days Trapped

A shop clerk rescued after 11 days trapped. “I was hungry,” Exantus told The Associated Press from his hospital bed soon after the rescue. “But every night I thought about the revelation that I would survive.”

He, Exantus,who is in his 20s,survived initially by diving under a desk when the rubble started to fall around him. Trapped in such a small space, he had lie on his back the entire time and survived by drinking cola, beer and cookies.

“It was God who was tucking me away in his arms. It gave me strength,” he added.

Exantus worked as a cashier in the grocery store on the ground floor of the Hotel Napoli.

Earlier Saturday, the United Nations announced the Haitian government had declared an end to rescue operations. Still, dozens of international teams continued to pick through rubble of the Jan. 12 quake.

Saturday’s rescue effort started when one of the man’s brothers helped get a Greek search team to the site after hearing Exantus’ voice, said Apostolos Dedas, a mission leader for the Greek team.

“It is very emotional. It is the best thing that can happen to you when you are a rescuer,” Dedas said.

Chain saws, heavy duty drills and hand saws used by rescuers to dig a narrow tunnel. Lt. Col. Christophe Renou, a French Civil Protection official said the man was buried under 16 1/2 to 20 feet (5 to 6 meters) of debris, mostly wood and concrete.The rescue teams said they sent two women, Carmen Michalska and a French female rescuers,into the tunnel because only they could fit. Exantus was smilling and he was just really happy to get out. He said, ‘Thank you.”

What happened in that spot there is a miracle. Experts say the chance of saving trapped people begins diminishing after 72 hours. Haiti earthquake killing an estimated 200,000 people. Before the latest rescue, U.N. spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said 132 people had been pulled alive from collapsed buildings.

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