Man Who Lost Glasses in Quake Found 17 Days Later

China's Gan Yu 'said he would have died' in mountains, where he became lost: reports
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2022 11:47 AM CDT
Man Who Lost Glasses in Quake Found 17 Days Later
Rescuers transfer an earthquake-affected villager along a damaged mountain road in southwest China's Sichuan province on Sept. 7.   (Shen Bohan/Xinhua via AP)

Gan Yu was working at a hydropower plant when a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck China's Sichuan province earlier this month. Rather than flee, he stayed at his post, "saving villages downstream from being flooded," according to state news agency Xinhua. His eventual escape, it turns out, would take 17 days. During the mayhem, the nearsighted 28-year-old lost his glasses and couldn't find his way out of the mountainous terrain of Sichuan's Luding County, per the BBC. He and colleague Luo Yong, who'd also stayed behind to prevent flooding and help injured co-workers, ended up walking for 12 miles before Luo set off on his own in search of help. Luo was rescued Sept. 8, three days after the quake. But when rescuers arrived at Gan's camp on Sept. 11, he was gone.

Ni Taigao, a villager who joined the search for the missing worker this week, heard shouts from a mountain slope on Wednesday and followed, finding Gan under trees, China Central Television reported. "He cried when I found him, and said he would have died if it had not been for me," the man said, per CGTN. Gan was "extremely thin," the outlet reports. He told his rescuer that he survived on wild fruits and spring water, per Xinhua. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of broken bones, soft-tissue injuries, and "severe infections," the outlet reports. He's in stable condition, according to the hospital. Rescuers said it was a miracle that he survived the low temperatures and multiple aftershocks, per CGTN. The quake itself killed 93 people and injured more than 400 others. (More China stories.)

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