KATHMANDU (REUTERS, AFP) - Rescuers pulled a 15-year-old boy alive from the rubble of Nepal’s massive earthquake on Thursday, five days after the disaster which is now known to have killed more than 5,500 people.
Survivor Pema Lama was rescued from the collapsed ruins of Kathmandu’s Hilton Hotel in the Gongabu district of the ruined capital by Nepal’s Armed Police Force. He was carried on a stretcher and in a neck brace to a waiting ambulance.
Lama, who was conscious, held the hand of one of his rescuers and looked towards a large group of photographers and television news crews as he was brought to safety, a Reuters photographer at the scene said.
A large crowd, which had gathered, cheered when Lama was brought out. Members of the security forces hoisted the rescuer onto their shoulders to more cheers.
He was taken to hospital for treatment, AFP reported.
The teenager’s rescue is a rare moment of joy as relief coordinators warned it could take five days to reach some of the worst hit areas, accessible only by foot.
The United Nations has launched an appeal for US$415 million in aid from the international community while United States President Barack Obama has vowed it would do everything in its power to help the devastated nation.
Nepalese authorities have also announced that climbing would resume on Mount Everest next week despite the deaths of 18 people on the world’s tallest mountain in an avalanche triggered by the earthquake.