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Crowds helping to clear rubble in the wake of Italy’s latest earthquake cheered as rescuers freed the third of three brothers who were trapped in debris.
A magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck the Italian holiday island of Ischia on Monday night, leaving two people dead, 39 injured and thousands left homeless.
A rare ray of light during the quake’s aftermath was the moment a seven-month-old baby, covered in dust, was pulled alive from the debris.
Hours later the baby’s two older brothers, aged eight and 11, were also rescued.
Onlookers cheered with joy as Ciro, 11, the last of the brothers to be saved, was carried from the collapsed building in a stretcher as firefighters tweeted: “Even Ciro is saved!”
The children’s father told RAI state television the boys were in a bedroom when the quake struck, while he and his wife were elsewhere in the house.
The mother, who Italian media said is heavily pregnant, escaped through a window while rescuers helped the father.
Firefighters kept talking to the boys throughout the night, giving them bottles of water and a torch, before making a hole in the collapsed ceiling.
The Gulf of Naples’ Ischia, along with its nearby island of Capri, is a popular tourist spot for European holidaymakers and is known for its thermal waters.
Among those who were killed in the disaster was an elderly woman who was in a church which crumbled in the quake, and a second person who has been located in the rubble but not yet pulled out.
Video released by firefighters showed rescuers passing a seven-month-old baby out of the collapsed structure in hardest-hit Casamicciola.
Photos from the quake zone show many buildings collapsed into rubble and cars overturned.
Former Naples prosecutor Aldo De Chiara told Corriere della Sera that most of the recently constructed buildings on Ischia were built without necessary permits, and many with poor quality cement.
“We warned about the risk of collapses,” he said. “Unfortunately, what we had denounced happened last night.”
The head of Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, Angelo Borrelli, told reporters that 2,000 people had been left homeless in Casamicciola and 600 in Lacco Ameno.
He said authorities were checking the stability of hotels to see if they could be used as temporary housing.
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