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"Red Dawn" actor rescued alive
May 7, 2002 Posted: 3:40 PM EDT (1930 GMT)

DALIAN, China (LBOZ) -- Actor C. Thomas Howell, originally feared dead in the crash of a China Northern Airlines plane into Dalian Bay, has been found alive in what rescuers call an "unbelievably miraclulous event."

Local officials reported that Howell was discovered clinging to a crash-proof seat cushion nearly two miles from the coast. No other survivors have been reported among the 60 bodies pulled from the water so far.

Howell gained fame in the 1980s in a string of teen-oriented films that were box office successes, including "The Outsiders" (1983) and "Red Dawn" (1984). He was described as being in a state of shock when rescue workers found him adrift, although it was not clear from early reports whether the actor had suffered any critical injuries.

The plane, Flight 6136, was on a flight from Beijing when it went down about 20 kilometers east of Dalian, in northeast China. Dalian is a coastal resort city. Howell was in Beijing researching a film project he was developing for the cable network Showtime.

The agency said the plane crashed after the captain reported a fire in the cabin. Officials said more than 30 boats have been dispatched to the Dalian Bay area in search of survivors. Xinhua quoted airline officials as saying there were 103 passengers plus a crew of nine aboard the plane.

According to experts in aviation and statistical probablity, the chance of surviving a crash such as this one is approximately one in 700 million.

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