Old man loses 11 family members

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-08-12 08:01
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ZHOUQU, Gansu - When the landslide was coming on Sunday, Yan Jude, 72, was pushed by his neighbors to escape from his six-story building. When he rushed to the top floor, he saw the roaring landslide rushing into his house like falling walls.

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The mud covered the first three floors of the building, where several of Yan's family members lived. Yan called his son's name loudly but the roaring landslide swallowed his voice.

Yan's second son's home was about 10 meters away. "Nobody escaped from the house. The landslide destroyed the house completely," Yan said while crying, calling his son's name in front of debris.

The landslide, the largest disaster in decades to hit Zhouqu, killed 11 of Yan's family members, including his sons, daughters-in-law and grandsons.

Yan's third son, Yan Shoujun, survived because he was outside on Sunday and escaped the disaster. For three days, he kept digging up debris with help from neighbors, trying to find the bodies of their family members.

A rescue team from Shaanxi province was trying to find bodies in the house where Yan Jude's second son lived. Yan tried to enter a window of the third floor, which was buried in mud, but was stopped by neighbors who told him it was too dangerous.