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Belgian made heroic deed during the tsunami: ‘the Tide came up fast on us’

François de Neuville (29) from the province of Namur had just been hotel in the city of Palu on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on leave when the earthquake struck the building partially crushed. Together with a friend, he saved a baby from the five beneath the rubble.

Ex-paracommando François de Neuville, together with Ng Kok Choong , a friend from Singapore, in Palu for a parapentecompetitie. They just had their hotel, the Mercurehotel close to the coastline, abandoned when the earth began to tremble. ‘We could not hold and fell on the floor. Our hotel shook from left to right and was then partly in. A large cloud of dust rose and we heard people screaming under the rubble.’

The two men walked directly back …

Ex-paracommando François de Neuville, together with Ng Kok Choong , a friend from Singapore, in Palu for a parapentecompetitie. They just had their hotel, the Mercurehotel close to the coastline, abandoned when the earth began to tremble. ‘We could not hold and fell on the floor. Our hotel shook from left to right and was then partly in. A large cloud of dust rose and we heard people screaming under the rubble.’

The two men walked directly back to the battered hotel. ‘We could have a little girl free, but unfortunately not her mom next to her, because suddenly we saw how a huge wave, the beach was approaching.’

The men ran away from the coast, as fast as they could. “I carried the girl in my arms. But when we saw how the tide rapidly on us, crawled I with the child in the only tree that after the earthquake still rechtstond. My buddy was a Chef walked to a different spot. The force of the waves was tremendous. While our legs in the water hung, and we had to us with all of our might to cling to the branches of the tree, also, since the earth but continued to tremble.’

So went a half hour over. ‘It was dark, and gradually calmed the sea again. From the piece of hotel that is above the water touched it, we heard still screams of people.’

Reunited with mom

When the water finally subsided, ventured De Neuville the to together with the girl the tree to leave. A little later they found the Cook back. The man from Singapore had shelter found in the rubble of the Mercurehotel. With several other survivors he had managed to get even more people alive from beneath the rubble to pick up, also the mom of the girl they first had to leave.

‘The mummy is transported to the hospital with serious fractures. She is united with her little daughter, Zahra. That baby is all the time huge quite. Unbelievable.’

Whole city is destroyed

The two men have already received many congratulations and extended thanks from the family of Zahra. They were able to rest on mattresses that workers london next to the hospital.

‘The whole city is ruined”, said the Belgian hero still on his Facebook page. ‘It is hell. So many people are dying and we are just a few scratches. That is hard to understand.’

François de Neuville was eventually evacuated to Jakarta and is now in safety, confirms Foreign Affairs. According to the latest messages would be another five participants of the parapentecompetitie missing continue. For them, there is not much hope left.

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