Page last updated at 02:40 GMT, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Haiti man 'survives 27 days under quake rubble'

Rubble in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Much of Port-au-Prince was reduced to rubble by the quake

The family of a Haitian man says he has survived four weeks under rubble since the devastating earthquake that struck on 12 January.

Doctors said the 28-year-old man was dehydrated and wasted. His brother told the BBC someone had given him water during his 27-day ordeal.

The BBC's Matthew Price spoke to the man's mother in the capital Port-au-Prince and said she was very emotional.

The man is being treated at a field hospital at the airport.

More than 150,000 people were killed in the earthquake, with 1.5 million left homeless, but it is estimated fewer than 140 people were pulled alive from the rubble in Haiti's capital.

'Not impossible'

Our correspondent says the man's mother broke down while discussing her son's apparent rescue and said she had not seen him since the quake.

He was quite dehydrated and wasted, so there are certain things that suggest it's true
Dr Dushyantha Jayaweera

The man is thought to have been pulled out from under the rubble of a building in Port-au-Prince on Monday.

Doctors said he was dehydrated and malnourished, and that his condition suggested he had been trapped for a long time.

Dr Dushyantha Jayaweera, of the University of Miami field hospital, told Reuters TV: "It is unusual but not impossible.

"He was quite dehydrated and he was wasted, so there are certain things that suggest that it's true."

Dr Jayaweera described the man's condition as "reasonable".

"He's still sick, he cannot talk to anybody, but we are very optimistic with the condition of the patient."

Laura Silsby leaves a police car in Port-au-Prince on 8 February 2010
Meanwhile, a judge began quizzing Americans accused of child snatching

Meanwhile, a Haitian judge has begun questioning 10 American missionaries accused of trying to take out of the country 33 children they claimed were orphaned by the quake.

Many of the children were later found to have parents.

The group's lawyer, Aviol Fleurant, said after proceedings on Monday: "Many of the parents who had the opportunity to speak out declared, in good faith, to have given their children to the Americans."

He also said that the Americans - who are mostly from the state of Idaho - had had the necessary documentation to take the children from the country.

Five of them have spoken to the judge, and the rest are expected to appear at a hearing later this week.

The leader of the group, Laura Silsby, was confident they would all be freed.

"I am trusting God to reveal all truth, and that we will be released and exonerated of charges," she said.

The case has raised fears in Haiti that traffickers would take advantage of the quake chaos to abduct children.

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Times Online Doctors back story of miracle Haiti earthquake survivor Evan Monsigrace - 11 mins ago
Telegraph Haiti: man trapped for 27 days 'survived on fruit and water' - 2 hrs ago
Sky News Man 'Lives For 27 Days' In Haiti Rubble - 4 hrs ago Haiti supermarket collapses with people inside - 5 hrs ago
Philippine Daily Inquirer Damaged Haiti supermarket collapses with people inside - 7 hrs ago

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