Greeks help rescue 24 year old

first_imgA Greek rescue team in Haiti was involved in the rescue of a 24-year-old Haitian man from a collapsed hotel.Working with rescue teams from France and the United States the Greek rescue team members helped extricate Wismond Extantus from the rubble of the Napoli hotel in downtown Port-au-Prince. Rescuers worked frantically for hours with drills and sledgehammers to save Extantus, a cashier in a market inside the hotel.To reach the survivor, two rescuers crawled into the tangled mass of concrete rubble, wooden beams and corrugated iron that was all that was left of the Port-au-Prince hotel. They sawed away material to help get the trapped man out.“He was holding the light to help us see. He just said ‘Thank you’ when we pulled him out,” Carmen Michalska, a rescuer with the Greek team said.Apostolos Dedas, a mission leader for the Greek rescue team, added: ‘It is very emotional. It is the best thing that can happen to you when you are a rescuer.’The brother of Wismond Extantus, Jean-Pierre, said he had been coming daily to the rubble of the collapsed hotel, searching for some sign of his brother, to no avail. On Saturday, two men rummaging through the ruins heard a knock.“He said, ‘Please tell my family I’m alive,’” Jean-Pierre remembered.The two men rushed to Jean-Pierre, who was sitting nearby. Jean-Pierre flagged down a passing Greek documentary crew — and they called Greek rescue crews, who notified the French. Then the Americans joined the effort.The Greek rescuers lacked the heavy equipment necessary to move the debris so a group of French ­colleagues at the airport preparing to fly out were scrambled to the scene with their machines. Four hours later they had cleared a tight space in the rubble, but the male ­rescuers were too big to fit down to cut away the final debris.“They needed someone else to go in but none of them was small enough,” said Carmen Michalska. “So I said I’ll go and I went straight in.” At the bottom she found Exantus alive and smiling.When Exantus and his rescuers emerged a waiting crowd of Haitians applauded and cheered. Michalska, 36, on her first mission with the team, wore a layer of grime and a big smile. She embraced colleagues, some teary-eyed. “This is my first day with the Hellenic Rescue Service and at this rate it won’t be my last.” Did she ever suffer claustrophobia? She laughed. “No. Good job.”The team leader of the Hellenic rescue team Apostolos Dedas said the trapped man told them six more people were buried in the rubble of the hotel.But rescuers have not been able to speak to anyone else, and the man said the others were no longer moving — leading rescuers to believe they are dead, French rescue team member Christophe Renou said.The rescue of Wismond Extantus came 11 days after a magnitude 7.0 eartquake destroyed Haiti’s capital.So far 132 survivors were rescued from the rubble of ruined buildings in the capital Port-au-Prince.Officials in Haiti have confirmed the death toll has exceeded 110,000. 193,000 people were wounded and it is estimated that one million people have been left homeless. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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