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High school student injured in earthquake dies

04/25/2024 10:31 PM
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Falling rocks smash the vehicle that carried the high school student following the earthquakes in Hualien on April 3. File photo courtesy of Hualien County Fire Department
Falling rocks smash the vehicle that carried the high school student following the earthquakes in Hualien on April 3. File photo courtesy of Hualien County Fire Department

Taipei, April 25 (CNA) A 17-year-old high school student who was seriously injured in the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Hualien County on April 3 died on Thursday after 21 days in intensive care.

The student, surnamed Huang (黃), died from organ failure Thursday at around 2 p.m., said Yu En-lang (游恩郎), an intern director at Hualien Sun Dance Vocational Senior High School, where Huang was studying restaurant management.

His body has been returned to his family, Yu said.

Huang had been taking a shuttle bus to the Silks Place Taroko hotel, where he was interning in a cooperative education program when the earthquake hit and rocks fell on the bus.

His feet were pinned down by rocks, trapping him inside the bus for a night before he was rescued and sent to hospital.

However, his condition deteriorated on April 4, when he fell into a coma and relied on medical equipment to keep him alive.

Huang came from an economically disadvantaged background and lived at home with his aunt and maternal grandmother, prompting his decision to participate in the paid program.

In previous interviews with the press, his family described him as kind and thoughtful, and someone who helped whenever he could. School faculty also said he was well-liked and visited by school friends after lessons and on weekends following the accident.

The earthquake has claimed 18 lives and a Singaporean couple remains missing. Their families have agreed search attempts should be paused due to the unstable nature of the Shakadang Trail, where they are believed to have been hiking when the earthquake struck.

Search attempts will resume when concerns of danger have reduced and a clearer idea of where the couple is has been ascertained.

(By Chang Chi and Wu Kuan-hsien)

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