A 3-year-old girl survived under the rubble of collapsed homes in eastern China thanks to the protection of her dead parents, Chinese media reported Tuesday.
The girl was rescued more than 14 hours after a group of homes collapsed in the city of Wenzhou, killing 22 people. Six people survived.
Reports show the girl’s father, who was killed, appeared to have protected his daughter from the building’s collapse. State broadcaster CCTV said the child had minor injuries, but her parents died after being struck. They were found with their arms around the girl, according to the Associated Press.
“We first found a young man. Then his wife and daughter were found as we were clearing the rubble,” firefighter Sun Jing told CCTV, the AP reported. “We found them tangled together, with mother and father facing down and the little girl between their bodies facing up.”
The cause of the collapses was unclear on Tuesday and being investigated. Several news outlets reported that the four buildings, which were next to each other, had been constructed by rural workers. They were part of a neighborhood of ramshackle apartments, portions of which officials had wanted to take down, according to a report in The Beijing News, the New York Times reported.
Xinhua News Agency said five adjacent homes that were still standing were being demolished “to avoid secondary disasters,” according to the AP.