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4-month-old baby, two others pulled safely from rubble caused by Nepal earthquake

by | Apr 30, 2015

“To save a human life, we’ll risk almost anything”

By Dave Andrusko

nepalbabyrubblereSix days out, and rays of hope out of the utter disaster caused by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal that has claimed the lives of nearly 6,000 people with a much larger tally expected.

CNN and the Associated Press are reporting that teenager Pemba Tamang was pulled from the rubble today in the capital of Kathmandu by Nepalese rescuers, supported by an American disaster response team. “Krishna Devi Khadka, believed to be in her 20s, was rescued from another location,” CNN reported.

A couple of days ago the Associated Press ran a heart-in-your-throat story about the rescue of a four-month-old Sonit Awal.

I won’t spoil the joy of reading the story. Here are just a few of the remarkable events that transpired that led to the baby’s rescue.

Sonit’s nine-year-old sister was watching him when the earthquake struck Saturday. She escaped unhurt as buildings collapsed in Bhaktapur, which is just east of Nepal’s capital.

When Nepalese photojournalist Amul Thapa first heard the baby’s cries, Sonit was trapped under a wooden beam. According to the AP

That beam “was supporting everything,” the 26-year-old remembers. To move it would have meant to bring even more danger to the trapped child.

Thapa’s own family in his hometown of Bhaktapur had suffered and his home had been destroyed but Thapa said when he heard the baby cry all he could think was “Please God, help him.”

At 10:00 a, on Sunday, the day after the earthquake, Nepalese army soldiers pulled Sonit out from mountains of debris.

“Sonit Awal’s chubby cheeks were caked in chalky, concrete dust,” according to the AP story. “One tiny fist curled tightly shut, the other seemingly covering his face.”

“When I saw the baby alive all my sorrow went,” Thapa said. “Everyone was clapping. It gave me energy and made me smile in spite of lots of pain hidden inside me.”

Amazingly, Sonit appeared to have suffered only a small cut over his brow.

Andrew Olvera, who heads the team from the U.S. Agency for International Development, explained to AP why rescuers were doing what they did:

“The whole operation is dangerous. But it’s risk versus gain. To save a human life, we’ll risk almost anything.”

Categories: National News
Tags: Nepal