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Originally published September 18, 2013 at 7:29 AM | Page modified September 18, 2013 at 9:48 AM

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Woman survives 16 days trapped in well in China

A woman stranded for 16 days in an abandoned well in central China said Wednesday that she shouted for help every day and began to lose hope, but that she managed to survive on raw corn and rainwater.

The Associated Press

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BEIJING —

A woman stranded for 16 days in an abandoned well in central China said Wednesday that she shouted for help every day and began to lose hope, but that she managed to survive on raw corn and rainwater.

Su Qixiu, 48, was gathering herbs when she fell into the 4-meter-deep (13-foot-deep) well in a village in Henan province on Sept. 1. Her husband and children unsuccessfully searched for her, but she was finally found Monday by a passer-by, state media reported.

"I shouted every day in those 16 days. And spoke a lot of nonsense. I was scared and felt hopeless," said Su, who was speaking slowly and weakly in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from her hospital bed.

Su said she lost around 15 kilograms (33 pounds) during her ordeal and now weighed around 40-45 kilograms (88-99 pounds).

She said she was walking past a cornfield but couldn't see the road clearly and fell into the well.

"I ate some corn. It rained and I drank some rain, but not much," she said.

Su said she didn't remember being discovered, only a firefighter pulling her up from the bottom of the well.

Her two daughters and one son raced home from Shanghai, where they work, when they heard their mother had gone missing, and were still with her, Su said.

Henan Satellite TV broadcast images Wednesday of Su in the hospital. Her doctor, Ran Xiansuo, said that Su at first was unable to speak and had organ failure, but that her condition had stabilized.

Su said the doctor told her she needed to stay in the hospital for a few more days, but that she was feeling gradually better.

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