Thursday 29 September 2016

Pictures: The moment boy (15) is pulled alive from rubble five days after Nepal quake

Press Association

Published 30/04/2015 | 09:12

Pemba Tamang is carried on a stretcher after being rescued by Nepalese policemen and U.S. rescue workers from a building that collapsed five days ago in Kathmandu, Nepal, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shresta)
Pemba Tamang is carried on a stretcher after being rescued by Nepalese policemen and U.S. rescue workers from a building that collapsed five days ago in Kathmandu, Nepal, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shresta)
Pemba Tamang is carried on a stretcher after being rescued by Nepalese policemen and U.S. rescue workers from a building that collapsed five days ago in Kathmandu, Nepal, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shresta)
Earthquake survivor Pema Lama, 15, is rescued by the Armed Police Force from the collapsed Hilton Hotel, the result of an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Earthquake survivor Pema Lama, 15, is taken into an ambulance after being rescued by the Armed Police Force from the collapsed Hilton Hotel, the result of an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
Earthquake survivor Pema Lama, 15, is rescued by the Armed Police Force from the collapsed Hilton Hotel, the result of an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
A Nepalese teenage boy is rushed to hospital on a stretcher after being rescued by Nepalese policemen and US rescuers alive from the debris of a building five days after the earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo / Niranjan Shrestha)
A Nepalese man being rushed to hospital on a stretcher after being rescued by Nepalese policemen and US rescuers alive from the debris of a building five days after the earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo / Niranjan Shrestha)
Nepal Army Special Forces personnel arrive at the airport to be transported for rescue operations following Saturday's earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Earthquake survivor Pema Lama, 15, is rescued by the Armed Police Force from the collapsed Hilton Hotel, the result of an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Nepal Army Special Forces personnel arrive at the airport to be transported for rescue operations following Saturday's earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Earthquake survivor Pema Lama, 15, is rescued by the Armed Police Force from the collapsed Hilton Hotel, the result of an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Earthquake survivor Pema Lama, 15, is rescued by the Armed Police Force from the collapsed Hilton Hotel, the result of an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Members of the Nepalese Armed Police Force work at the ruins of the Hilton Hotel, the site where earthquake survivor Pema Lama, 15, was trapped in following an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
Earthquake survivor Pema Lama, 15, is rescued by the Armed Police Force from the collapsed Hilton Hotel, the result of an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Earthquake survivor Pema Lama, 15, is rescued by the Armed Police Force from the collapsed Hilton Hotel, a result of an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
Earthquake survivor Pema Lama, 15, is rescued by the Armed Police Force from the collapsed Hilton Hotel, a result of an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
A Nepalese woman looks inside a damaged temple and prays in Bhaktapur near Kathmandu, Nepal, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Earthquake survivor Pema Lama, 15, is rescued by the Armed Police Force from the collapsed Hilton Hotel, a result of an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Rescuers have pulled a teenage boy alive from the rubble of a Kathmandu building five days after the Nepal earthquake.

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Waiting crowds cheered as the boy, who has not been identified, was carried out on a stretcher.

His face was covered in dust, and medics placed an IV drip into his arm. A blue brace had been placed around his neck. He appeared stunned, and he blinked in the sunlight.

A USAID team had been working at the scene overnight to try to free the boy.

Andrew Olvera, head of the USAID disaster response team, said before the rescue that the boy had not been buried very deep, but that he was trapped between two collapsed floors of the building.

The survivor, named as Pemba Tamang, was said to be 18 years old.

LB Basnet, the police officer who crawled into a gap in the rubble to reach Pemba, said he was surprisingly responsive.

"He thanked me when I first approached him," said Mr Basnet.

"He told me his name, his address, and I gave him some water. I assured him we were near to him."

Rescuers eventually used jacks to lift the concrete slabs that had wedged him in, said Mr Basnet.

The Mount Everest south base camp in Nepal is seen a day after a huge earthquake-caused avalanche killed at least 17 people, in this photo courtesy of 6summitschallenge.com taken on April 26, 2015 and released on April 27, 2015. REUTERS/6summitschallenge.com
The Mount Everest south base camp in Nepal is seen a day after a huge earthquake-caused avalanche killed at least 17 people, in this photo courtesy of 6summitschallenge.com taken on April 26, 2015 and released on April 27, 2015. REUTERS/6summitschallenge.com
A Nepalese boy talks on a mobile phone near a damaged minaret of a mosque in Kathmandu, Nepal, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Tourists from Vietnam access the Internet from their mobile phones while waiting for their flight at Tribhuvan International Airport after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
National Disaster Response Force from Indian paramilitary force works to recover the dead bodies from a collapsed house after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
Tourists stand in front of the Departure gate of Tribhuvan International Airport as they wait for their flight after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
An Indian woman cries as she waits to take a flight back to her country after an earthquake at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
A girl cries as her family takes refuge at Tribhuvan International Airport after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
Tourists wait to board their flights at Tribhuvan International Airport after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
Tourists wait to board their flights at Tribhuvan International Airport after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
A tourist from the Netherlands waiting for her flight sleeps in a sleeping bag at Tribhuvan International Airport after returning from the Everest Base in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
An Australian tourist reads a book as she waits for her flight at Tribhuvan International Airport after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
People sleep on the ground in an open area on early morning after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
An earthquake victim carries her baby on her back as she stands outside her makeshift shelter on open ground in the early hours in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
A man prays next to rubble of a temple, destroyed in Saturday's earthquake, in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
A prayer bell is seen on top of the rubble of a damaged temple after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Royal Thai Air Force personnel load food and relief supplies for Nepal at the military airport in Bangkok, Thailand, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom
Thai Armed Forces medical team walk to a C-130 cargo plane at the military airport in Bangkok, Thailand, April 28, 2015. The Royal Thai Armed Forces sent 67 medical and rescue personnel to assist the earthquake victims in Nepal, according to The Royal Thai Armed Forces authorities. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom
Thai Armed Forces rescue team prepare to board a C-130 cargo plane at the military airport in Bangkok, Thailand, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom
People sleep inside a makeshift shelter on open ground, early morning after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
In this April 27, 2015 photo, locals watch rescue teams try to remove the body of a 12-year-old girl from a collapsed home in Kathmandu, Nepal. A strong earthquake shook Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley on Saturday. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
People sit on the rubble of a collapsed building following an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal in this Red Cross handout picture taken on April 27, 2015. REUTERS/IFRC/Palani Mohan/Handout via Reuters
In this April 27, 2015 photo, rescue teams search for bodies in the collapsed Sitapyla church in Kathmandu, Nepal. A strong earthquake shook Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley on Saturday. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
An earthquake victim carries her baby on her back as she stands outside her makeshift shelter on open ground in the early hours in Kathmandu, Nepal April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Tents are set up in an open area near multi-storey buildings following an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal in this Red Cross handout picture taken on April 27, 2015. REUTERS/IFRC/Palani Mohan/Handout via Reuters
People gather on a road as traffic is affected by a landslide caused by an earthquake, in Kurintar, Nepal April 27, 2015. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
The Mount Everest south base camp in Nepal is seen a day after a huge earthquake-caused avalanche killed at least 17 people, in this photo courtesy of 6summitschallenge.com taken on April 26, 2015 and released on April 27, 2015. REUTERS/6summitschallenge.com
Video taken from a drone Saturday April 25 2015 shows devastation in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, caused by Saturday's quake that measured 7.8 on the Richter Scale. (AP Photo / KISHNOR RANA)
Nepalese carry the body of their relative killed in the recent earthquake for cremation at the Pashupatinath temple, on the banks of Bagmati river, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 27, 2015. (AP Photo / Manish Swarup)
Nepalese people affected by the recent earthquake queue to receive food from a non governmental organization, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 27, 2015. (AP Photo / Manish Swarup)
Nepalese soldiers carry a wounded man on a makeshift stretcher to a waiting Indian air force helicopter as they evacuate victims of Saturdays earthquake from Trishuli Bazar to Kathmandu airport in Nepal, Monday, April 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

An American disaster response team had been helping the Nepalese.

"He's not too far down, but the floors have collapsed and he'd been pancaked between them," Andrew Olvera, who is heading the team from the US agency for international development, said shortly before the boy was freed.

Twisted ropes of steel reinforcing rods were all that stopped huge concrete slabs from falling onto the scene. Two concrete floors hung down in front of the building like curtains.

"The whole operation is dangerous," Mr Olvera said.

"But it's risk versus gain. To save a human life, we'll risk almost anything."

The rescue was a rare bit of good news in a city that has known little but despair since the earthquake hit on Saturday, leaving more than 5,500 people dead across this poverty-wracked Himalayan nation.

Asked how the survivor had lasted for so many days, Mr Basnet replied: "He survived by good faith."

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