1 May 2015

Boy found alive in Nepal quake rubble

8:48 am on 1 May 2015

Rescuers have pulled a 15-year-old boy alive from the rubble of Nepal's earthquake five days after the disaster.

The rescue of Pemba Tamang on Thursday was hailed as a miracle and greeted with cheers from crowds of bystanders who watched the drama unfold at a ruined guesthouse in Kathmandu.

Pemba Tamang is pulled from the rubble of a hotel five days five days after the disastrous earthquake.

Pemba Tamang was raced to hospital where he was found to have only minor injuries. Photo: AFP

Elsewhere, a woman was pulled from a collapsed block where she had been trapped alongside three bodies, the BBC reported.

Caked in dust, Pemba was fitted with a neck brace and raced to a field hospital where he was found to have only minor cuts and bruises.

"I never thought I would make it out alive," the teenager told AFP at the Israeli military-run facility.

Pemba, who worked at the guesthouse as a bellboy, said he had been eating lunch next to reception when the ground started shaking.

"I tried to run but ... something fell on my head and I lost consciousness - I've no idea for how long," he said.

"When I came round, I was trapped under the debris and there was total darkness," he added.

"I heard other people's voices screaming out for help around me ... but I felt helpless."

Asked if he had had anything to eat while he was trapped, Pemba said he had come across a jar of ghee (clarified butter) in the dark.

"I don't know where it came from," he added.

But the recovery of another teenager's body from the same ruins minutes later underlined how the prospects of finding further survivors of Saturday's 7.8-magnitude quake are becoming more remote, as the death toll from the disaster climbed to 6100.

Libby Weiss, a spokeswoman at the Israeli field hospital, said Pemba was doing "remarkably well", confirming he did not have any major injuries.

"He was under the rubble for 120 hours and it is certainly the longest we have heard anybody of being under the rubble and surviving," she said.

"I don't have any logical explanation. It is miraculous. It is a wonderful thing to see in all this destruction."

Meanwhile, bad weather is hampering the delivery of relief to remote villages, a Nepal government spokesman said.

The government has been criticised for its response to the disaster.

Outside the capital, the relief effort has relied heavily on helicopters, with mountainous roads blocked by landslides triggered by the earthquake.

Laxmi Dhakal, a spokesperson for Nepal's Home Ministry, told the BBC that helicopters loaded with rescue workers and relief materials were ready to fly but had been held back by "rainfall and cloudy conditions".

Nepalese woman and child on rubble in the village of Sathighar, north of Katmandu, 29 April.

Nepalese woman and child in the village of Sathighar, north of Katmandu. Photo: AFP / Palani Mohan / IFRC

- AFP, BBC