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Sichuan earthquake, 10 years on

Chinese woman vows to marry earthquake hero boyfriend after terrifying coach ordeal

Devoted partner ‘instinctively’ shielded his bride-to-be as rocks rained down on tour bus, shattering windows

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 4:57pm
UPDATED : Friday, 11 August, 2017, 10:42am

A Chinese woman has vowed to marry the boyfriend who shielded her when their coach was battered by falling rocks in the aftermath of Tuesday’s deadly earthquake in Sichuan, mainland media reported.

Zeng Yajing said that she and her boyfriend, who was not named, had been holidaying in Sichuan and were returning from a day trip to a national park in Jiuzhaigou, site of the magnitude 7 quake, when the area was hit by a series of aftershocks, Sichuan Daily reported on Wednesday.

“There were continuous aftershocks and big stones were falling down along the mountain roads,” Zeng, who hails from eastern China’s Zhejiang province, was quoted as saying.

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“Suddenly a rock smashed the back window, and I felt him [her boyfriend] holding me,” she said. “When I opened my eyes, I saw the floor was strewn with broken glass and there were four rocks as big as fists by my feet.”

The boyfriend was quoted as saying that as soon as the rocks began to hit the bus he instinctively put his arms around his girlfriend and used his jacket to protect them both against the flying glass.

“I wasn’t thinking about anything except making sure she didn’t get hurt,” he said. “Fortunately, the jacket was thick so the glass didn’t hurt us.”

After her boyfriend’s display of gallantry, Zeng said she realised she wanted to marry him.

“[We] have booked tickets to go home tomorrow and we will get married then,” she said.

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All of the 29 people who were on the tour bus at the time of the incident made it back to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, unhurt on Wednesday night, the report said.

But not every story from the earthquake has a happy ending.

A mother and father from Hubei province managed to save their daughter by getting her out of their tourist bus, which had been struck by a boulder, but then died from their own injuries, West China City Daily reported.

The parents were sitting with their daughter in the last row of the bus, which was returning to their hotel from scenic spots on Tuesday.

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During the earthquake, a huge stone smashed into the back of bus and hit the parents.

The driver, guide and tourists on the bus moved quickly to escape. The father, surnamed Lu, asked them to take his daughter, who had been between him and his wife and protected by their bodies.

The primary school student was rescued but her parents died soon after from blood loss.

The girl, who is now with her aunt and uncle, still hadn’t been told about her parents’ fate.

“She keeps asking me: where are my father and mother? When will they come to us?” Lu’s brother-in-law was quoted as saying.

“We ... lied to her and said that her parents were receiving emergency treatment.”

At least 20 people have been confirmed killed and more than 400 injured by the huge tremor.