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Last Updated: Monday, 29 December, 2003, 02:36 GMT
'I was digging and felt hair'
Ruth Millington
Ruth Millington remembers waking up in her collapsed hotel room
A British woman caught up in the Iran earthquake has described digging her way out of a collapsed hotel and then trying to find survivors.

Ruth Millington, 34, from Sheffield, was in her room in a guest house in Bam near the old quarter when the earthquake struck on Friday.

"The only thing remaining other than our room was a wall at the front of the hotel. The windows had been smashed out," the lawyer told BBC News 24.

People were bringing out their dead children, wrapped in sheets - there were people wailing on the streets
Ruth Millington

She described the confusion of waking up in the rubble of the hotel and praying for it to get light as she tried to dig her way out.

"At about 7am, it became clearer and I saw a bed frame covered in rubble and my immediate response was, there is someone under that.

"I went across and started pulling back the earth and found some hair and I put my hand on this person's head and then I pulled back and his face was down.

"All he could say was 'there is something heavy on my legs, get it off.'"


Ms Millington was on a two-week holiday and had arrived in Iran on Christmas Day.

She is now in the Iranian capital Tehran where she is being treated for cuts, bruises and shock.

She described the chaotic scenes in the aftermath of the quake.

"People were bringing out their dead children, wrapped in sheets, there were people wailing on the streets, screaming, crying, praying. It was just complete devastation."

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