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Buried in rubble for 82 hours, Nepal quake survivor ‘drinks urine’

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As he lay trapped for some 82 hours under the rubble of his Kathmandu hotel after Nepal’s devastating earthquake, Mr Rishi Khanal knew what he must do to survive: drink his own urine.

After a painstaking rescue effort, Nepalese and French emergency workers finally pulled the 28-year-old out alive late on Tuesday (April 28) from the wreckage, from where he had been desperately calling relatives on his phone for days.

Dazed and caked in dirt, Mr Khanal was carried out of the wreckage on a stretcher before being taken to hospital where doctors said he was lucky to be alive, suffering a leg injury.

Brother-in-law Purna Ram Bhattarai, 32, described how Mr Khanal was left helpless when his leg was pinned under debris during Saturday’s quake that has killed more than 5,000 people. 

“He said that the walls just started crumbling, and there was nothing he could do. His leg was stuck and he was trapped,” Mr Bhattarai told AFP on Wednesday (April 29). 

“He said he was so thirsty that he even drank his own urine, there was nothing else, no option,” Mr Bhattarai said as he waited at Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital for Khanal to return from surgery on his leg.

Plead for help

From beneath the rubble, Mr Khanal had called Mr Bhattarai to plead for help.

But Mr Khanal, who has a wife and a six-month-old baby and lives in Arghakhanchi district, had forgotten the name of the hotel where he had been staying since last Thursday.

“You won’t believe it, but we could reach him on his phone even after two days,” Mr Bhattarai said.
“’I’m trapped here’ he said, but in panic he forgot the hotel’s name.

"If he had remembered, maybe we would have found him earlier.”

Mr Bhattarai said the phone later went dead, sparking a desperate search of overwhelmed hospitals and mortuaries in the devastated capital. 

“We looked everywhere, we went to all the hospitals. Checked patients and even the dead. We had lost all hope of finding him.”

Mr Rishi Khanal speaks to a security guard at a hospital in Kathmandu on Wednesday

Source: AFP