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Survivor found in resort rubble

Rescuers eased aside dirt and rubble Saturday to reach a man found alive nearly 2 1/2 days after 20 people were buried by a landslide.

"A miracle has occurred," New South Wales police inspector Charlie Sanderson said after Stuart Diver was heard by rescuers about 54 hours after the landslide swept over a ski resort.The discovery raised hope that others may have survived. The confirmed toll so far is one survivor, three bodies located and 16 people still missing. Hours earlier, police had warned relatives that there was no hope of finding anyone alive.

After digging all night, rescuers "went ballistic" when sensitive sound monitoring equipment picked up noises from under a concrete slab, said police spokesman Mark Hargreaves.

Diver was conscious during the ordeal but had little feeling in his body, police said.

Officials said Diver, a ski instructor, was in peak physical condition, which would have aided his survival as temperatures plunged to 16 degrees over the past three nights.

Despite the threat of another landslide, rescue crews - at times using their hands to avoid sending rubble into the excavated area - worked their way through debris to within three feet of Diver.

An oxygen cylinder and mask and what appeared to be a foil space blanket were passed to workers trying to reach Diver. A medical helicopter was waiting nearby to take him to a hospital.

"If we can keep this person alive, that's marvelous," Ambulance spokesman Steve Johnson told TV Channel Seven.

Sanderson said police were very confident of getting him out some time Saturday.

The threat of another avalanche prompted the area to be evacuated temporarily Saturday.

"In this case two ambulance people stayed in the tunnel at great peril to themselves in proximity to where this person is," Sanderson said.