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Home » Archives » October 2004 » Miracle Rescue after Niigata Quake

Miracle Rescue after Niigata Quake

Wednesday, October 27, 2004 Posted: 06:33 PM JST

A 2-year old boy and his mother, Takako Minagawa (39) were rescued from a car after they had been buried for 90 hours in a quake-triggered landslide. The boy and the mother were immediately airlifted to a hospital in Nagaoka. The boy is reported to be alive, but the mother was later pronounced dead. She had no pulse when she was removed from the car. A second child, a 3-year old girl is still trapped in the car. Her condition is unknown.

Police, firefighters, Self-Defense Forces troops and Niigata officials started the seemingly hopeless rescue operation after the car was found Tuesday. The three had gone missing after a series of strong earthquakes shook Niigata prefecture over the week-end. Many roads in the area have been destroyed by giant landslides.

The drama of the missing mother and her two young children has gripped the nation. Many in Japan have been following the rescue efforts live on TV.

Keywords: national_news

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2 comments so far post your own

1 | At 12:14pm on Oct 28 2004, Phil Ono wrote:
I was watching the rescue live on TV. First they said all three were still alive. Which was a delightful shock. They had some kind of detector that detected three hearts still beating, so it seemed certain that all three survived. They said a woman's voice was heard. So we all thought she was still alive.
After one child was rescued, the NHK TV announcer said that the two children were rescued. Some minutes later, he corrected that statement. (What kind of misreporting is that??)
At the hospital, they announced that the mother was dead, and probably died instantly. That was shocking.
The mistaken reports was almost as disturbing as the tragedy itself.
2 | At 02:15pm on Oct 28 2004, Kjeld Duits wrote:
Yes, I noticed that too. It was very disturbing. I noticed the same happened with news sites and newspapers. Many misreported the rescue. Probably iKjeld.com was one of the first to report the rescue of the boy, the death of the mother and the unknown fate of the mother correctly.

Here is such an entry. This one from SABCnews.com.

Three Japan quake victims rescued after four days
October 27, 2004, 09:30

A woman and two small children who were trapped for nearly four days after their car was buried in a earthquake-triggered landslide in northern Japan were found today and reports are that all three are alive.

Orange-clad rescue workers partially dug out the car from under huge boulders and rescued a two-year-old boy. The boy, a three-year-old girl and their mother were all alive, national broadcaster NHK said.
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