Survivor recalls 26 hours trapped in rubble 10 years on from Christchurch quake

Ten years ago today, Ann Bodkin found herself trapped under rubble after a devastating earthquake in Canterbury.

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Ann Bodkin was the last person to be pulled alive from any quake-damaged building in Christchurch and says she’s lucky to be alive. Source: Breakfast

Bodkin spent the next 26 hours pinned under her desk with 20 metres of concrete above at the Pyne Gould Corporation building in central Christchurch. The only thing that kept her from being crushed by the collapsing ceiling was a leg on her desk.

She would be the last person pulled alive from any quake-damaged building in Christchurch.

“I feel so lucky to be able to be here, to be alive,” she told Breakfast today.

Since the earthquake at 12.51pm on February 22, 2011, Bodkin had become a grandmother to five.

Bodkin said she was fortunate she could see them grow up.

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“Every day is special and we do our best to make the most of it.”

She thanked those who got her out of the PGC building: a rescue team from New South Wales and Nine News reporter Simon Bouda, who heard her voice calling out from the rubble.

“Without them, I don’t think I would be here today.”

Bodkin said if she hadn’t been heard in the short time the generators were turned off, she might not have survived.

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Her husband Graham Richardson still remembered what it was like to see his wife emerge from the rubble after a “very hard” hours-long rescue effort by “absolutely incredible” people.

“I remember standing there and saying ‘I feel like I’ve just done a 10km run, but I’m the happiest man in the world right now.’”

He added: “And I still am.”