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From Baby Jessica to the Chilean miners, miracle survivals and escapes

The remarkable story of a survivor pulled alive from the ruins of a factory in Bangladesh more than two weeks after it collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people, captured the world's attention. Here are some other notable recent miraculous survivals and escapes that were celebrated around the globe:

Baby Jessica: 18-month-old Jessica McClure was heard singing nursery rhymes at one point during her nearly 59 hours of being stuck inside a well, 22 feet below ground-level. It was Oct. 16, 1987, and the toddler had fallen into the abandoned well shaft in her aunt's Midland, Texas, backyard while playing with other kids. Rescuers and reporters surrounded the scene, but tension was rising about whether the little girl, whose leg had become wedged in a narrow crevice on her fall down, would survive. Rescuers ultimately chose to drill a tunnel parallel to the well and connect a shaft through solid rock to rescue her. Baby Jessica later had to have 15 surgeries in the years following her ordeal, including the removal of her small toe and part of her right foot, but is now living a healthy life and is a mother herself.

Eric Gay / AP

Eighteen-month old Jessica McClure is held by rescue worker Steven Forbes on Oct. 16, 1987 after she was trapped 22 feet under ground in an abandoned water well since Wednesday morning.


The Chilean miners: Thirty-three copper miners working in Copiapo, Chile, became trapped when the shaft they were working in collapsed on Aug. 5, 2010. They were a half-mile underground for 69 days as rescuers desperately tried to find a way to reach them without letting the constantly-shifting mountain bury them forever. Before anyone knew they had survived the collapse, the group survived on a meager emergency supply of tuna fish and outdated milk; for the rest of the rescue, they were given food, medication (including anti-depressants), and letters from relatives through the shaft. After a drill finally broke through to their hot, wet, underground purgatory, they were pulled out on live television. They were trapped longer than any other miners in history, according to The Associated Press.

Alex Ibanez / Chilean Presidency via Reuters

The last miner to be rescued, Luis Urzua, who is credited with organizing the miners to ration food and save themselves, gestures next to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, right, at the end of the rescue operation at San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile, on Oct. 13, 2010.

Gretel Daugherty / Getty Images

Aron Ralston smiles at a news conference at St. Mary's Hospital on May 9, 2003 in Grand Junction, Colo.

The climber who cut his own arm off: Amputating his right arm isn't what mountaineer Aron Ralston had in mind when he set out for an adventure on April 26, 2003. A prolific climber based in Aspen, Colo., Ralston, then 27, had scaled many of Colorado's highest peaks when he decided to go for a solo climb in the middle of the night with no cell phone in Blue John Canyon in Utah. The backcountry terrain was tough, but Ralston persevered — until an 800-pound boulder rolled onto his onto his right hand. He was trapped. Five days of waiting for a rescue crew to spot him, he realized he had run out of water, and needed to do something drastic. With his pocketknife, he amputated his arm below the elbow, then made a makeshift tourniquet, and hiked five miles on a trail until he was spotted by a helicopter search team. He now has a prosthetic arm. His story was later told in a book and a movie.

Haiti quake survivor: Darlene Etienne was 16 when the Haiti's devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck on Jan. 12, 2010, killing 220,000. Etienne survived, but she was buried in the capital city, Port-au-Prince, by concrete and twisted steel — and she wasn't found for 15 days. On Jan. 27, 2010, a French rescue team heard her weakly calling out through the debris, and she was rescued. She told her rescuers that she believed that if she had gone even a few more hours, she wouldn't have survived. A year later, she reported that she was completely healthy, living with extended family in a rural area three hours from the capital.

Jerome Sales / French Army via AP

French medical staff tend Haitian girl Darlene Etienne aboard the French medical ship Siroco, off Port au Prince, on Jan. 27, 2010, after she was pulled from the rubble in a stunning rescue 15 days after an earthquake.

Miracle baby of the China quake: A huge 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan province in China on May 12, 2008, killing more than 70,000 people and leaving even more homeless. But out of all the terrible news, there was one bright spot: A 30-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant and buried under eight feet of concrete was found after 50 hours. A month later, she gave birth to a healthy, 8.7-pound child.

June 18: She survived the China quake after being buried in rubble for over two days. Now, she's welcoming her child into the world. NBC's Stephanie Gosk reports.