New Delhi, May 14 : Zhu Fumin, a senior high secondary student, is being serenaded as a hero for saving the lives of 33 of his classmates.
The 15-year-old ordered everyone to "lie prone" when the quake jolted their classroom and everyone else panicked, said his classmate Dai Yingying.
"Most of the teenagers followed him to hide under their desks. In the darkness some began to scream and cry. Zhu told us to stay calm and not to get exhausted," Dai said.
"Zhu said: be brave, young men; stop crying, girls," Xinhua quoted Dai, as saying.
In a few minutes, the students calmed down. Some used their cell phones as torch-lights and found the ceiling had toppled.
Several students who didn't move fast enough were stuck between the ceiling and the desks. Zhang Li, the girl who sat next to Dai, was underneath the slab and had passed out.
In about an hour, Zhu heard noises outside the ramshackle wall, and found a little hole, where a ventilator had been removed. He shouted through the hole for help, and found some teachers and students, who had been in a gym class on the playground, were digging the wall.
Zhu and another boy joined them and with all their might, they tore up a gap on the wall through which 33 of all the 65 students escaped. Nine of the trapped students were confirmed dead, said Long Mingquan, a school teacher.