BEIJING — A man missing for 17 days after an earthquake in southwest China’s Sichuan province has been found alive, according to local media.
The 28-year-old hydroelectric plant worker, Gan Yu, had stayed with his colleague Luo Yong after the 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan on September 5. The quake killed 93 people and injured hundreds.
Gan administered first aid to his colleagues and helped prevent flooding by releasing water from the dam, according to China National Radio. Gan and Luo then remained in the station for more than a day without food or mobile signal.
The duo attempted to leave on September 7, walking more than 20 km. But Gan, who is myopic, had lost his glasses and had difficulty navigating the mountainous terrain, local media reported.
The couple eventually decided to go their separate ways, with Luo leaving for help and Gan staying behind with wild fruits and bamboo shoots for food while waiting for help.
Rescuers found Luo on September 8, but when they returned to where he had left Gan, he was gone. Finding only discarded clothing and footprints, rescuers feared Gan had succumbed to hypothermia.
However, Gan was discovered by a local farmer who decided to join the hunt on Wednesday as he was familiar with the mountains. Ni Taigao heard Gan’s faint cries after two hours of searching and spotted him lying injured under some trees.
It was unclear why Gan had left the waiting area. According to the state-run China Daily newspaper, Gan said he survived the 17-day ordeal by eating wild fruits and drinking water.
He was airlifted to a nearby hospital and doctors determined he had multiple bone fractures.
Footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed Gan eating a snack and being rescued, as well as being reunited with his parents from his hospital bed.