Tuesday 6 December 2016

Miracle rescue of teen after five days buried under rubble

Ravali Winkle

Published 01/05/2015 | 02:30

A teenage boy is rushed to hospital on a stretcher after being rescued alive from the debris of a building, five days after the earthquake in Kathmandu (AP Photo/Niranjan Shresta)
A teenage boy is rushed to hospital on a stretcher after being rescued alive from the debris of a building, five days after the earthquake in Kathmandu (AP Photo/Niranjan Shresta)
The Mount Everest south base camp in Nepal is seen the day after a huge earthquake-caused avalanche killed 19 people, as escue teams, helped by clear weather, used helicopters to airlift scores of people stranded at higher altitudes, two at a time (REUTERS)

A teenage boy has been pulled out from the rubble of a Kathmandu building five days after the earthquake.

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Waiting crowds roared and cheered as the boy was carried out in a stretcher. His face was covered in dust, and medics put an IV drop into his arm. A blue brace was placed around his neck. He appeared stunned, and his eyes blinked in the sunlight

A US Agency for International Development team was working at the scene for several hours to try to free the boy.

Andrew Olvera, the team leader, said before the rescue that the boy was not very deep, but he was trapped between two collapsed floors. "He's pancaked between them."

The team had been inspecting another site in Kathmandu yesterday when a Nepalese team with them said an 18-year-old boy was alive and trapped in a nearby building.

The rescue of the teenager came after 'Kathmandu Today', a local newspaper, shared images of a baby boy rescued from the rubble 22 hours after being buried under a building in Bhaktapur which had collapsed.

The images appear to show a Nepalese team rescuing the baby, named locally as Sonit Awal, who is covered in dust. It was reported he was four months old and after a visit to the hospital, he was found to have no injuries.

The attempt to save the child's life had been a long one and members of the armed forces had arrived at the family's collapsed house in Bhaktapur on Saturday, trying to conduct a successful rescue until midnight, 'Kathmandu Today' reported. He was eventually rescued at 10am on Sunday after a rescue team returned when the father said he could hear his child crying.

LB Basnet, a police officer, said he spoke to the 18-year-old who gave his name as Pemba Tamang.

"Nepalese police say the boy who was pulled from rubble five days after the earthquake is an 18-year-old who made it alive by 'good faith'."

Mr Basnet added: "He thanked me when I first approached him . . . He was really responsive. He told me his name, his address, and I gave him some water. I assured him we were near to him."

The rescue operation was led by a Nepalese team with American responders from the US team assisting them.

Mr Basnet wore a headlamp and was dressed in blue camouflage uniform. He crawled into the hole to get the boy out.

Before the rescue, the team dropped medical supplies and IV fluid to team members who went down inside, including a US fire fighter medic who is part of the team.

Mr Olvera said it looked like it used to be a seven-storey building with concrete slabs hanging down.

Kunda Dixit, editor of 'Nepali Times', said on a Twitter posting that an 11-year-old girl was rescued in Bhaktapur Dattatreya Square after 90 hours under rubble.

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