Man Rescued From Haiti Rubble After 11 Days


haiti-rescueWismond Exantus Jean-Pierre, 22, had been working as a cashier in the Hotel Napoli, in Port au Prince, when the building collapsed, trapping him underneath.┬áThis evening, he was pulled from the wreckage by search and rescue crews to wild cheers from Haitian onlookers, despite the country’s government earlier announcing it was no longer searching for survivors. He told relatives other people stuck in the rubble could also still be alive.

“I was hungry,” he said from his hospital bed soon after the rescue. “But every night I thought about the revelation that I would survive.”

He said he 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.

“I would eat anything I found,” he said. “After the quake I didn’t know when it was day and when it was night.”

Rescue teams had been preparing to leave when they were called back from the airport to help Wismond.

He had been heard by two looters who alerted people nearby including Karl Jean-Jeune 23, a local worker for a Greek television station, who sent a message out on microblogging website Twitter and alerted rescue workers by phone.

A huge scrum of journalists had descended on the rubble to witness the moment of his rescue, which had been building through the afternoon. When Wismond finally appeared on a stretcher the Haitians gathered on one side of the waiting ambulance, whooped with delight.

Wismond’s brother, Jean Elie, scrambled forward and as wismond was raised into the ambulance he scrambled on board too with another young man who gave a victory sign.

Jean Elie said: “Four days ago I had a dream that my brother was alive. He said ‘come and get me’. I have been coming every day.”

As far as his brother knew, Wismond did not have food or water, because he was trapped in an area away from the provisions. “It’s God that is keeping him alive,” Jean Elie said.

He added that he was disappointed and angered by the decision of the Haitian government to disband the rescue operations, saying they should continue even if the hopes of finding people alive were slim.

He said: “They should be looking around for other people. A lot of people could have been saved.”

{The Telegraph/Noam Newscenter}