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Woman in China dies after throwing baby to safety during deadly flood

China’s Henan Province has reported 51 deaths amid the evacuation of 400,000 people from their homes. File Photo by EPA-EFE
China’s Henan Province has reported 51 deaths amid the evacuation of 400,000 people from their homes. File Photo by EPA-EFE

July 23 (UPI) -- A woman who tossed her baby to safety when mudslides and floods struck her home in China's Henan Province was found dead, according to rescuers.

An eyewitness with the surname Zhao told China's Southern Metropolis Daily that the baby had "been flung to a higher spot by her mother."

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The incident occurred during a landslide at Wangzongdian Village in Henan. The baby, a girl, was rescued Wednesday after more than 24 hours under rubble, reports said.

"I heard the baby's voice, and at that moment the rescuers had just arrived and managed to save the child," Zhao said, according to the BBC.

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Video of the rescue shows workers stooping into a cavernous area as they hear a baby's cry. The infant is believed to be no more than three to months old, according to the BBC.

The mother's body was found Thursday. According to Beijing Youth Daily, the victim was found in a frozen position that indicated she was assuming a hoisting motion when she died.

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"Just at that crucial moment she had lifted up her child, and that's why the baby girl lived," a rescuer with the surname Yang said, according to Chinese media reports.

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Rescuers continued their work Friday in the aftermath of what may be one of the worst natural disasters in central China.

The city of Zhengzhou has downgraded its emergency response level but other parts of Henan Province were preparing for heavy rain, the South China Morning Post reported.

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Xinhua reported 3,000 military officers were working in 10 danger zones in Zhengzhou.

Henan has reported 51 deaths amid the evacuation of 400,000 people from their homes. The province is one of the most densely populated areas and is home to more than 90 million people.

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