Baby rescued after over 24 hours under rubble of Magnitogorsk house blast (VIDEO)
“During the ‘minute of silence’ when rescue works stop to hear potential survivors, crying was heard underneath the debris,” the governor of Chelyabinsk Region, Boris Dubrovsky, wrote on his Telegram channel.
"When we shouted 'Quiet' the child themselves stopped crying, but when we shouted to the baby, 'Where are you?' the infant responded. Once we were sure, we started digging," Petr Gritsenko, who led one of the rescue teams, told the media.
The video filmed by the emergency services, which have been working continuously since the early morning of December 31, shows half a dozen men carefully pulling out a pink-skinned child from a pile of deformed concrete and steel, before another rescuer sprints with the baby to the nearest ambulance.
Doctors say that the 10-month-old boy, Vanya Fokin, has suffered closed-head trauma, broken bones, and serious frostbite on his extremities, but medical staff say the prognosis is positive.
Faces still heavy with tension and exhaustion, his parents gave an interview to RT outside the room where the child was being treated. The father, Evgeniy, said his bed was destroyed in the blast, and he would have died, had he not been at work on his night shift. The mother, Olga, managed to escape with Vanya's older brother, but knew they couldn't pull out the infant, and wasn't even sure he was alive.
The parents had spent the past 24 hours trying to get through to the rescue workers - the father put on overalls so he could go through the cordon and blend in - and direct them to the exact spot where their flat used to be, until finally, Vanya was saved.
After being treated at a local facility, Vanya was airlifted to the top Moscow children's hospital on Wednesday morning.Also on rt.com Putin arrives at scene of deadly Urals gas blast amid race to save people in freezing cold (VIDEO)
The boy is the first person who has been extracted alive apart from those residents who escaped immediately following the suspected gas blast.
Nine bodies have been found, and 35 residents of the 10-floor Soviet-era housing block still remain missing, with fears growing that they may be buried in the rubble.
Nonetheless, with weather hovering at around -20C in the Urals city, emergency staff are continuing to blast hot air from heat cannons at the building, and illuminate the remains with a searchlight in hopes of finding more survivors.