Earthquake survivorPema Lama, 15, is rescued by theArmed Police Forcefrom the collapsREUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Reuters – A 15-year-old boy was pulled out alive from the collapsed ruins of Kathmandu's Hilton Hotel on Thursday, five days after a huge earthquake caused devastation across Nepal and killed nearly 5,500 people.

Survivor Pema Lama was rescued by Nepal's Armed Police Force and carried on a stretcher and in a neck brace to a waiting ambulance. A large crowd broke into applause when people saw that the teenager was alive.

Lama 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.

The rescuer, Nepali police official L.B. Basnet, told reporters the boy had spoken to him in the rubble and asked for water.


Members of the security forces hoisted Basnet onto their shoulders to more cheers from the crowd.

Several bodies were also found in the rubble of the hotel on Thursday, where heavy rain earlier in the day had hampered rescue efforts.

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