A report about a man in Ecuador who was rescued after nearly two weeks trapped in rubble isn’t true, a top official told CNN en Español.
Felipe Bazan, Deputy National Secretary of Risks, said a Venezuelan team did provide medical assistance to a man in a town that was devastated by the 7.8-magnitude quake that struck Ecuador last month.
But the man, 61-year-old Manuel Jacinto Velazquez Vera, hadn’t been trapped in the rubble, and rescuers didn’t have to use machines or tools to pull him out, Bazan said. Instead, rescuers noted that Velazquez was sick and took him to a medical center.
The Venezuelan Embassy in Quito announced Saturday that its rescue team had found a 72-year-old man who’d been trapped for almost two weeks in the collapsed rubble of a home.
Major media organizations in Ecuador and beyond, including CNN, reported the story.
Rafael Santos, the head of Venezuela’s humanitarian team in Ecuador, told CNN en Español on Monday that the discrepancy is due to a misunderstanding of terminology.
Velazquez was not trapped in rubble, Santos said, but Venezuelan authorities maintain he was rescued because the man was unable to fend for himself.
An official from the hospital where Velazquez was being treated in Manta, Ecuador, told CNN that the man had no injuries caused by the earthquake and had fallen ill from a previous medical condition. He was undergoing dialysis treatment at the hospital and recovering, hospital manager Maria Beatriz Zambrano said.