(Jan. 15) – Television audiences around the world watched as rescuers tried to free an 11-year-old Haitian girl from her collapsed home in Port-au-Prince on Thursday. But her story came to a tragic end shortly after they finally managed to remove her from the rubble.
The girl's family told CNN reporter Ivan Watson, who covered the rescue attempt for hours Thursday, that she died just one hour after rescuers cut an iron beam, freeing her right leg.
Rescuers heard the girl's cries inside the collapsed building and had dug through the debris to reach her, only to find that her leg was crushed beneath the weight of the structure. As they worked to free her, speculation mounted that her leg might have to be amputated.
Conscious and able to eat and drink, the girl often cried out in pain during her ordeal. At nightfall, rescuers used a saw to cut through an iron beam that was pinning her leg, and she was finally freed.
Her leg, however, was badly injured, and she required immediate medical attention. Witnesses told CNN she was transported to a first aid station that did not have the resources to deal with her wounds. She died before her family could take her to a better equipped facility outside the city.
Her uncle told CNN that the girl's last words were, "Mother, don't let me die."