Secret of Kiki's smile: I smiled because I was free, alive

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London, Jan. 22 (ANI): The seven-year-old rescued boy, whose broad grin inspired a hope amid the gloom of Haiti's earthquake hell, has revealed that "I smiled because I was free - I smiled because I was alive."

Little Kiki Joachin was seen smiling when he was pulled out from the ruins of his collapsed home after nearly eight days.

Kiki, whose three siblings have died in their home, has now been reunited with his mother Odinel.

"I am sad for my brothers and sisters but happy with my mama," The Sun quoted Kiki, as saying.

Odinel, 38, said: "When I saw them I collapsed in tears and hugged them. We were all laughing and crying at the same time."

Recalling the quake, she said: "I was preparing rice and beans for dinner when the whole six-storey block fell flat in seconds. We were on the ground floor and when I came to I was lying under a pile of rubble.

"I was screaming out for the children as I threw pieces of concrete off me but heard nothing. I could see layers of concrete lying on the spot where Kiki had been doing his homework beside his sister. I was sure they were dead," she added.

Her children Yeye, nine, Titite, three and 18-month-old Didine were killed. Four-year-old son David survived because he was playing outside.

Kiki and his 10-year-old sister Sabrina were saved thanks to their aunt, who went back to the ruins to hunt for belongings a week later - and was astonished to hear faint cries.

"I pulled at some of the wreckage when I heard the voice under the concrete below me. I heard: 'Mama! Help us, Mama! Water' - it was Kiki! Then I heard his sister calling out as well and ran to fetch help," she said.

An estimated 200,000 people have died in the January 12 quake but so far only 80,000 have been buried. (ANI)

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