A girl was rescued after being protected by her parents from a residential building collapse early Monday in China’s Wenzhou city.

Firefighters had conducted search and rescue efforts after the collapse occurred at about 4am. After 15 hours of digging, they found a young man, his wife, and their daughter under the rubble.

“We first found a young man, then his wife and daughter were found as we were clearing the rubble. We found them to be tangled together, with mother and father facing down and the little girl between their bodies facing up,” said Sun Jing, a firefighter taking part in the rescue work.

Firefighters found the girl’s right foot sticking out, twitching. The two parents had lost their lives by sheltering the girl with their bodies.

Within 15 minutes of finding her, firefighters carried the girl out to an ambulance. Doctors said her condition is stable, with only minor injuries.

Firefighters said the girl did not suffer any impact from heavy objects because her father and mother together took the hit from a 20cm thick, one-metre wide piece of cement floor on their back and head, losing their lives in the process.

As of 1am Tuesday (Oct 11) 22 people have been confirmed dead. – Reuters

Rescue workers search at the site where residential buildings collapsed in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, China, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA.

Rescue workers at the site of the building collapse in Wenzhou, China. Photo: Reuters