An ambulance rushes Chen Xinyi to a hospital after she and two other missing children were found on Friday in Zhejiang province. Shen Zhicheng / For China Daily
The three children who went missing from a village in Zhejiang province were found safe on Friday morning after nearly 72 hours.
Chen Xinyi, 12, her 7-year-old brother Chen Hanlin and Chen Minjie, an 8-year-old girl, were found by rescue teams at about 10:30 am on a mountain in Changshan, a village about 7 kilometers away from their home village of Jianguang in Pujiang county. The three children left their homes at around 11 am on Tuesday, and their parents called the police in the evening.
The children were either carried out on stretchers or in the arms of rescuers and taken by ambulance to a local hospital.
"The three kids were cuddled together by a creek and burst into tears when they saw us. Their condition was all right and they could respond to our words. We gave them some water and food immediately," said Ge Zhebin, head of a rescue team that found the children. "The sister was very concerned about her brother. She asked about the condition of the brother several times when we rescued her."
The children suffered frostbite but were in stable condition, according to Hong Yansheng, a publicity officer from the county.
The children got lost on the mountain and couldn't find their way home, and they relied on water in the creek for the past three days, Hong said.
By Thursday evening, about 4,000 people from across the county were formed into 59 rescue teams. They scoured reservoirs, rivers, valleys, ditches and the mountainside for the missing children within a search area of 70 square km.
Two police helicopters and two amphibious rescue vehicles joined the search effort.
"I want to say thank you to ... everybody involved in the rescue," the brother and sister's uncle said with tears in a video clip uploaded from Sina Weibo by Pujiang county's information office.
The rescue efforts were applauded by Internet users.
"I really appreciate the local government authority that mobilized all the rescue resources. They prioritized the value of life," an Internet user named Zhuangxia wrote on Sina Weibo.