Wandong hydropower plant employee Gan Yu was on duty when a massive earthquake struck on September 5th. The 6.6 quake killed around 100 people but displaced thousands in the sparsely populated mountain region of China’s Sichuan province. Gan stayed at the plant to help prevent a catastrophic flood.
When it became apparent two days later that no one was coming to help Gan and a coworker attempted to walk more than 12 miles through the mountains. Gan had lost his glasses during the quake and was struggling to navigate the mountains, so his coworker left him some wild fruit and bamboo shoots to eat before leaving him to find help.
When the coworker led rescuers back to the place where he’d left Gan, he was gone!
They searched for days for Gan and was only found after a local with extensive knowledge of the area joined the search.
It had been 17 days since the earthquake and Gan was found lying down with a broken foot yelling for help. He was evacuated by helicopter. Gan was treated for severe dehydration, multiple broken bones, but appeared to be in good spirits.