After 36 Hours, a 'Cry' of Life

Rescuers strike gold amid tragic building collapse
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 1, 2019 12:33 PM CST
After 36 Hours, a 'Cry' of Life
Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, about 870 miles from Moscow, Russia.   (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)

Laboring through sub-freezing temperatures, Russian rescue workers were digging into a sprawling heap of jagged rubble from a collapsed apartment building when one heard the faintest sound. It was the sound of life, the AP reports. On Tuesday, to everyone's delight and surprise, they pulled a baby boy out of the rubble alive, nearly 36 hours after the disaster that blew apart his home. His father called it "a New Year's miracle." The building collapse in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk before dawn Monday has killed at least nine people so far, and more than 30 people who lived in the building have still not been accounted for. The boy, an 11-month-old named Ivan Fokin, was in extremely serious condition, officials said, with fractures, a head injury and suffering from hypothermia after his ordeal in temperatures around minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

He was being flown to Moscow late Tuesday in a desperate attempt to save his life. Although Ivan's prospects for survival appeared dire, "it's a New Year's miracle," his father Yevgeny is quoted as saying by the RT satellite TV channel. The father was at work when his wife phoned to say the building had collapsed. She escaped the rubble with a 3-year-old son, Russian news reports say. Rescue worker Pyotr Gritsenko says on Russian television that the baby's discovery came after one of the crew heard faint cries. "They stopped all the equipment. He began to cry louder," but the crew couldn't find him, he says. A search dog was brought in and confirmed that someone was under the rubble, focusing the rescue effort. "The child was saved because it was in a crib and wrapped warmly," an official is quoted as saying. (An ex-firefighter is hailed as a hero after losing his life in a rescue.)

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