PORT-AU-PRINCE - After nearly 10 days trapped in the ruins of a three-story building, an Israeli search-and-rescue team extricated a 22-year-old Haitian man.
IDF Col. Rami Peletz, who heads up a team of officers from the Home Front Command, got word that American and French rescue teams were trying to extricate someone trapped since the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Their local driver rushed them to the scene of the rescue, where they were able to extricate Emanuel Buso and transfer him to the IDF field hospital.
"American and French doctors were unable to rescue the trapped man and called upon the Israeli delegation's search-and-rescue teams who rescued the man within half an hour, from a tunnel 2.5-to-3-meters (8-to-10 feet) long and were able to release him whole and healthy," said Maj. Zohar Moshe.
The collapsed building, located near the presidential residence, which was also destroyed by the quake, is on the southern side of Port-au-Prince.
The team transferred Buso to the IDF field hospital, where he is in stable condition, the Israel Defense Forces Spokesman's Office reported in a press release on Friday evening.
"I thought I was going to die [and] prayed to God to send someone to rescue me. I was starting to lose consciousness and then I heard my mother cryting," Buso said after being transferred to the IDF field hospital.
Buso said he tried to call out to his mother, who wasn't able to hear him, but he knew from hearing her voice that rescuers were nearby.
Miraculously, he had enough wiggle room to put on some pants he found in the rubble.
His mother, hearing the faint sound of movement coming from the wreckage, alerted an American policeman helping to direct the rescue teams.
Peletz said they were skeptical initially because of the amount of time that had passed.
When they arrived at the scene, Lt.-Col. Shai Fruchtman, the team's intelligence officer, climbed down the shaft to verify that the victim was still alive.
"There was a tunnel leading almost right up to him," Fructman said. "He asked for water, and we tried to assess his injuries and asked him to try moving his arms and legs. He reached out to me with a strong arm," he said.
Another team of Israeli medical professionals left Friday night for Haiti.
YNet news contributed to this report.