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Heartbeat of young survivor turns life-saver

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October 11, 2005 12:38 IST

It was the heartbeat of a four-year-old boy lying under the debris of a earthquake-hit builiding that proved to be his life-saver, as a machine used by rescuers picked up the feeble sound from under the rubble.

The Trapped Person's Locator, being used by rescuers in Islamabad can detect a person's heartbeat at a depth of over 50 feet.

The machine helped trace the boy from the debris of the 19-storeyed Margala Towers, which tumbled like a pack of cards during Saturday's massive quake. The boy was in a state of shock and could not tell anyone his name, the Daily Times reported.

The TPL machine works with sensors and transmitters that can both relay and receive sound. The machine operator sends out the message to the survivors that they have arrived for help and then awaits their response. They then concentrate the excavation on those areas from where the machine picks up signs of possible survivors.

The 11-member rescue team also pulled out two other children and a woman from the multi-storeyed building, miraculously alive 60 hours after they were trapped under the debris, the daily reported.

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