Man pulled alive from rubble around 80 hours after Nepal quake

The 28-year-old appeared to have had no access to food or water during his ordeal, which began at midday on April 25.

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:31 pm IST

Published - April 29, 2015 08:25 am IST - KATHMANDU

A Nepali-French search and rescue team pulled a 28-year-old man, Rishi Khanal, from a collapsed apartment block in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu on Tuesday after he had spent around 80 hours in a room with three dead bodies.

Mr. Khanal appeared to have had no access to food or water during his ordeal, which began at midday on Saturday when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, destroying buildings and killing at least 4,600 people.

“It seems he survived by sheer willpower,” said Akhilesh Shrestha, a doctor who treated him.

Mr. Khanal had been on the second floor of a seven-storey building when the quake struck. The top floors were intact and the teams drilled down to him after he shouted for help and responded to questions in Nepali.

The rescue took five hours.

Mr. Khanal had just finished lunch at a hotel in Kathmandu and had gone up to the second floor when everything suddenly started to move and fall apart. He was struck by falling masonry and trapped with his foot crushed under rubble.

“I had some hope but by yesterday I’d given up. My nails went all white and my lips cracked ... I was sure no one was coming for me. I was certain I was going to die,” he told The Associated Press from his hospital bed on Wednesday, surrounded by his family.

“There was no sound going out, or coming in. I kept banging against the rubble and finally someone responded and came to help. I hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink so I drank my own urine.”

It was not clear if he was a hotel employee or a guest.

“It feels good. I am thankful,” he said. He was taken away for surgery before more details could be obtained.

More than 5,000 people are known to have died and over 10,000 injured in the Nepal earthquake. There were also deaths in India, Tibet and Bangladesh.

Rain stalls rescue work in Nepal

>

Toll could reach 10,000, says Nepal Prime Minister

With no electricity, Kathmandu looked a ghost town with rain pounding the city..

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A selection of images capturing the extent of damage

These visualisations show how the intensity varied with distance from epicentre. > Read more The PM spoke to Nepal President and Chief Ministers of Bihar, Sikkim. > Read more Helpline no.s: +91 11 2301 2113, +91 11 2301 4104 and +91 11 2301 7905. > Read more
"Blind thrust" quakes are ones that do not break the surface, and tend to be more frequent. These records indicate that the region has a rich history of quakes in the past centuries. > Read more
 
A magnitude-7.8 earthquake shook Nepal’s capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley on Saturday, the worst quake in the Himalayan nation in over 80 years. A look at the world’s strongest earthquakes since 1900. > Read more
  
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