BAM, Iran – A 57-year-old man was pulled from the rubble of Iran's earthquake (search), barely conscious but still alive because he had a source of water during the 13 days he was buried, a doctor and a hospital official said Thursday.
Dr. Mahdi Shadnoush (search), the chief physician at a Ukrainian field hospital providing aid to quake victims, said was unconscious but receiving medical treatment after his rescue Wednesday night.
"It's a miracle," Shadnoush said. "He had no access to food but only water."
The source of the water was not known, but Shadnoush said the ruins of the home where the man, whose name was given only as Jalil, were wet.
People rarely survive being buried under rubble for more than three days. On Saturday, a rescue team found a 97-year old woman alive, buried in her Bam home.
Jalil was conscious enough to mouth out his name to searchers who dug him out of the rubble, but he slipped into unconsciousness after just a few minutes, said Mohammad Reza Tahmasebi, who is in charge of the Ukrainian hospital.
"We hope to keep him alive, but we cannot guarantee it," Shadnoush said.
Jalil is from the town of Narmanshir, about 37 miles outside Bam and came to the city a day before the earthquake and stayed at his sister's home.
Tahmasebi said Jalil was a member of the Baluch ethnic group, known for tolerating harsh conditions.