Nepal earthquake: 15-year-old pulled from rubble

Nepal earthquake: 15-year-old pulled from rubble

Celebrations as teen found alive after five days - now the search is on for his friends

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Pemba Lama, found alive after five days.
Pemba Lama, found alive after five days.
Photo: Associated Press

A 15-year-old boy was rescued alive and without visible injuries on Thursday from the rubble of his workplace in Kathmandu, as the death toll from Saturday’s devastating earthquake topped 5,800.

Hours later, a 24-year-old woman, Krishna Khadka, was pulled out alive from a collapsed building in Kathmandu by Nepal’s Army Police Force personnel.

"She is injured, but she will live," Home Ministry spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said.

The two rescues were a cause for joy amid difficulties in rescue efforts as helicopters carrying relief supplies were not able to leave Kathmandu early on Thursday due to bad weather.


Check out the rescue as it happened


Pemba Tamang, an employee at a seven-storey hotel in Gongabu on the northern outskirts of Kathmandu, was also pulled out by Nepal police helped by specialists from the US at 11:55am on Thursday. The quake struck at 11:56am on Saturday.

Pemba had no visible injuries but was weak and looked stunned, said Astaman Tamang, a rescuer involved in the operation.

"Save my friends," Pemba begged rescuers after being pulled out, according to police official Mantosh Khatri, who was involved in the rescue.

Pemba said he had been talking to two of his friends in the debris of the building until 4am Thursday.

"We are now trying to find his two friends," Army Major Ram Krishna Shrestha said.

Rescuers dug a manhole through the hotel's walls and pulled Lama from a narrow space where he spent 120 hours without food, water or even hope.

He was found on the third floor of the hotel.

Gongabu has many poorly constructed six- and seven-storey buildings that sell food and accommodation to tens of thousands of people arriving in Kathmandu daily at the local bus station.

This particular building was difficult to get to because another building had collapsed in front of it, blocking the narrow passageway to the hotel.

Rescuers knew since Saturday that there was someone trapped inside, and they took several days to clear a path before Thursday's rescue.

Earlier in the day, Khakal, the Home Ministry spokesman, said 20 helicopters, including those from India, remained grounded in Kathmandu on Thursday because of rain here and in many affected districts.

"The weather is slowing us down, and making relief delivery tough," Dhakal said.

Meanwhile, two small quakes were felt in Kathmandu on Thursday morning, throwing some residents into a panic. Nepal Television reported one of them of magnitude 4.7 had its epicentre in Dhading district neighbouring Kathmandu.

With garbage piling up in Kathmandu’s open spaces that have been turned into virtual refugee camps, sanitation and hygiene are emerging as big problems.


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To reduce the possibility of a disease outbreak, municipality workers started collecting garbage in Kathmandu on Thursday.

The exodus of people from Kathmandu continued on Thursday as well. Until Wednesday evening, 450,000 people had left Kathmandu, according to traffic police chief Jay Bahadur Chand.

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