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HUALIEN, TAIWAN (AFP) - A rookie golden labrador on his first ever mission has won praise for helping Taiwanese search and rescue workers find two people trapped in a severely damaged building following a deadly earthquake.
Four-year-old Tie Hsiung, whose name translates to "Iron Hero", braved dangerous aftershocks on his first field test to search for survivors after a 6.4-magnitude quake struck the popular eastern tourist city of Hualien on Tuesday, killing 10 people.
Thanks - Dog - Person - Hours - Wreckage
Thanks to the determined dog, one person trapped for 15 hours was finally located relatively unscathed and pulled from the wreckage of the precariously leaning Marshal Hotel.
"The terrain was quite dangerous with glass and nails," 28-year-old trainer Li Chun-sheng told AFP, beaming with pride.
"I thought he may be too afraid, but he was able to overcome this to go into the rubble pile, so I think he did great."
The other person pulled from the rubble succumbed to their injuries.
Quake - Struck - Tie - Hsiung - Rescue
As soon as the quake struck, Tie Hsiung flew out with a rescue team from the western city of Taichung alongside his training companion, fellow labrador Tuei Tuei ("Leg-Leg"), who is also four years old.
It was a mission the canines had trained extensively for - but until now they had never been truly tested.
Tuei - Tuei - Trainer - Lin - You-zhun
Tuei Tuei's trainer Lin You-zhun applauded his own black labrador who was sent to search the hotel's upper floors.
"Usually we choose where and when we train, and it is always in a safe area. But during a natural disaster, we never know...
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