54-year-old migrant worker Li Qiying was washing vegetables in the Hengtaiyu Industrial Park kitchen when her son stormed in, grabbed her and dragged her out of the building in a hurry. Qiying didn't realize it at the time, but her son had just saved her from a massive landslide that smothered a portion of the Chinese city of Shenzhen on Sunday.
A growing metropolis in southeast China, Shenzhen is experiencing abundant population growth. Immense overcrowding coupled to what has been deemed a lack of proper safety regulations is thought to have led to this disaster.
The Chinese government dispatched 5,000 workers to lead the rescue efforts. Dozens of people missing, and only four bodies were found. The rest of the people were presumed dead. Nearly three days of searching went by, and the workers were about to give up.
And then, a miracle happened.
After around 3 A.M. the workers located Tian Zeming, a 21-year-old factory worker who had been trapped under mud and rubble for 67 hours. He was alive and conscious, although his leg was covered by concrete. Zeming tried to escape when the building collapsed and a door panel crushed his foot.
While the panel trapped him, it also gave him the space to survive.
"Human life is the most precious, and precaution is of paramount importance," rescuer Chen Lijin said to Xinhua News Agency. "Relevant departments should take a closer look at safety to prevent such kind of things from happening again."