MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Three children were pulled to safety after being trapped under the rubble caused by a 4.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the Italian resort island of Ischia during the height of Europe’s tourist season.
Tourists said homes and hotels crumbled to the ground when the quake struck just before 9 p.m. Monday.
“I was crazy afraid that it would not stop,” one woman said. “Ischia was a trap.”
Firefighters digging through the rubble of a destroyed home pulled out a 7-month-old baby and his two brothers alive in a rescue many are calling a miracle, CBS2’s Teri Okita reported.
The three boys — 7-month-old infant Pasquale, 8-year-old Mattias and 11-year-old Ciro — were brought to safety in a 14-hour operation, each rescue Tuesday punctuated by cheers.
Crews sawed and removed rubble with their bare hands to save the brothers.
Hospital officials said that the boys were expected to be released Wednesday. Only Ciro suffered injuries, a minor fracture on his right foot. He is credited with helping save Mattias by pushing him under the bed, and drawing rescuers’ attention by banging a broom handle on the rubble.
The boys’ father was rescued earlier, while their pregnant mother freed herself through a bathroom window.
The quake injured 39 and left 2,600 residents homeless. Authorities brought in ferries to evacuate more than 1,600 visitors to Italy’s mainland.
Some are now questioning the quality of building construction and whether structures met seismic and building codes.
The earthquake happened just two days shy of the one-year anniversary of a powerful 6.2 tremor that devastated several towns in central Italy and killed more than 250 people.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)