Amid the tragedy following the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, stories of hope have emerged, with rescuers dragging survivors from the ruins.

Ann Bodkin was slowly extracted from the rubble of the four-storey Pyne Gould building after a three-hour operation.

Rescuers, using several different types of drills, advanced slowly through the wreckage before they they eventually reached the small space where she had been sheltering.

She finally emerged at the top of a fire ladder wrapped in blankets and smiling, prompting applause from the crowd below.

Bob Parker, the Christchurch mayor, hailed her rescue a “miracle”, saying it would bring “hope and optimism” to the embattled city. But miracles were few and far between.

While Mrs Bodkin only sustained minor injuries, many of the other people plucked from buildings across the city in the hours after the devastating quake had to undergo amputations to be freed from the wreckage.


If you’re concerned about loved ones in NZ, here are the numbers to call.

From NZ:  0800 REDCROSS (0800 733 276)
From the UK: +64 7 850 2199