Survivor Rishi Khanal, 27, is freed by French rescuers from the ruins of a three-story hotel in the Gangabu area of Kathmandu, Nepal, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Across central Nepal, including in Kathmandu, the capital, hundreds of thousands of people are still living in the open without clean water or sanitation since Saturday’s massive earthquake, one of the worst to hit the South Asian nation in more than 80 years.
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A man pulled from the rubble of a collapsed hotel by a French rescue team more than three days after the deadly Nepal earthquake says he was forced to drink his own urine to survive.
Rishi Khanal, 27, 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.
He was surrounded by dead people and a terrible smell. But he kept banging on the rubble all around him and eventually this brought a French rescue team that extracted him after an operation lasting many hours. By the time he was pulled out, he had been trapped — in what could have become his tomb — for 82 hours.
“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 Nepal in the magnitude 7.8 earthquake. There were also deaths in India, Tibet and Bangladesh.