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.
The teenager’s rescue from the ruins of a collapsed building in Kathmandu provided 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 launched an appeal for $415 million in aid from the international community while President Barack Obama vowed the United States would do everything in its power to help the devastated nation.
Nepalese authorities 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.
Grainy broadcast footage showed a crowd of rescuers trying to bring the youngster out of the rubble of a guesthouse in the Gongabu district of the ruined capital before police confirmed he had been pulled out.
“A 15-year-old boy has been rescued from the rubble of a lodge called Hilton Guesthouse,” said police spokesman Kamal Singh Bam. “We are awaiting more detail,” he added, identifying the boy as Pemba Lama.
The mud-caked teenager was fitted with a neck brace and hooked up to an intravenous drip at the scene before being lifted on a stretcher into an ambulance that then raced to hospital.
The news was likely to reinvigorate the efforts of rescuers who have had to contend with regular shocks and rain which makes it harder for sniffer dogs to work out if anyone is alive below the mountains of concrete.
The mood in Kathmandu has become increasingly grim since Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake, the deadliest in Nepal for more than 80 years.