An Australian woman who spoke to millions of TV viewers while trapped under her office desk by the New Zealand earthquake was recovering on Thursday after being pulled from the rubble.
Anne Vos, whose chilling testimony gripped viewers after the 6.3-magnitude quake reduced parts of Christchurch to rubble, was saved by an Australian rescuer who tunnelled through her wrecked office building.
“I’m hoping they are going to get me out soon because I have been here for so long and it’s dark and horrible,” she told the Seven Network on Tuesday, using her mobile phone.
“I know I’m bleeding and I can feel the ground is quite wet… My hand, I don’t know if I’ve cut it.
“At first it was squashed and it was swelling. I don’t know what I’ve done. I can’t see it.”
Vos also spoke of hearing trapped colleagues clamouring for help in the shattered Pyne Gould Corporation (PGC) building, where two bodies have been recovered and more are believed to lie buried.
She was finally freed from the wreckage late on Wednesday by an Australian rescuer who crawled through the devastated Pyne Gould building to retrieve her, drawing praise from New Zealand Police Minister Judith Collins.
“He pulled through a tunnel at vast risk to himself in the PGC building and brought out this lady yesterday,” Collins said.
“I said it was so brave and he said he just wasn’t thinking about (the risk). That’s the sort of people we have got working there, they’re just unbelievable.”
Vos, who suffered cuts and broken ribs and also spoke to family members during the ordeal, said the near-death experience had made her reassess her priorities in life.
“Like not worrying about stupid things like: ‘Oh my God, where’s my bag?’,” she told Seven. “What does that matter? They are things you can replace later. You can’t replace people.”
At least 98 people have been killed and 226 are missing after the disaster, which devastated much of Christchurch’s city centre.
– Image: Google