Xinhua News Agency

Survival of two and a half year-old girl moves many hearts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 June, 2015, 4:12pm

The survival of a two and a half year-old girl has come as much-needed good news amid immense grief and anger surrounding the Wenzhou train crash. But it has also deepened the controversy over the alleged early halting of rescue operations after the accident.

Xiang Weiyi, who had endearingly been called Yiyi by her parents, was the last survivor rescued from the catastrophic accident. She was discovered in the late afternoon on Sunday, 21 hours after the two trains collided at 8.38pm on Saturday. Her parents died in the crash.

Yiyi (pictured) was first sent to hospital because of serious injuries to her legs after being pinned among the wreckage for 20 hours. By yesterday afternoon, doctors from the hospital told Xinhua that she was recovering after an operation to her legs, and they said that amputation was not being considered at the moment.

Doctors also said Yiyi would have to undergo another two or three operations. The doctors said her leg movement may be permanently affected by the injury.

As the nation holds its breath over Yiyi's recovery, her parents' diary of her, kept on their microblogs, is also being widely circulated online - their loving words touching many people.

On her mother's blog was a picture of Yiyi on a train from a week ago - the trip to Hangzhou to see her grandmother was actually the little girl's first time on the train. The family was returning home to Wenzhou on Saturday when the train stopped on a bridge and was rammed from behind by another.

Her mother's last blog update came an hour before the crash. She said, 'Even though you are small, you do have a big temper. My dear baby, I wonder when you will grow up and become more understanding.'

The authorities' failure to find her sooner has been a source of public anger. The authorities declared the search over in the early hours of Sunday, claiming life-detecting machines had shown that there were no more signs of survival.

But local media said a police captain ignored his superior's order to move the carriage off the bridge before a thorough search was completed.

About 4pm on Sunday, firefighters and police officers again searched the last carriages of D3115, the train that was crashed into. But this time, the rescuers saw Yiyi's little hand moving in the rubble. She was under an air-conditioner, which had injured her legs but which also sheltered her from further injury.

But, according to some relatives of the passengers, the authorities really only started looking again after frustrated relatives begged them to.