There has not been much good news from Haiti, but yesterday we got a small ration. Fifty hours after the earthquake struck, a two year old boy was found alive by a Spanish rescue team in the ruins of his home in Port-au-Prince. Redjeson Hausteen Claude’s face broke into a smile when he was handed to his weeping mother.
On July 4 last year, I wrote in this blog about what appeared to be the unusual ability of children to survive air crashes. And after the great Sicily earthquake of 1908, which killed perhaps 150,000 people, a group of Russian sailors, who played a much-admired role in the rescue effort, found two babies safe and well under a heap of rubble. They were said to have been laughing and playing with the buttons on their clothes.
There have also been astonishing escapes involving adults, of course. Twenty days after the Courrieres mining disaster in France in 1906, 13 survivors emerged from the pit, long after the rescue effort had been abandoned, and following the Chinese Tangshan earthquake of 1976, there were miners who kept going for 15 days underground without food or clean water.