The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation in the United States said one of the dogs it trained played a critical role in finding a15-year-old boy recovered alive Thursday from the wreckage of a seven-story Kathmandu building.
Nepalese rescuers, with support from an American disaster response team, spent six hours removing debris before Pemba Tamang was carried out on a stretcher five days after the magnitude-7.8 earthquake shook Nepal.
Andrew Olvera with the U.S. Agency for International Development's Disaster Assistance Response Team said the boy survived because he was trapped in a concrete box created between the floors when the building collapsed.
Twisted ropes of steel reinforcing rods were all that stopped huge concrete slabs from falling onto the scene.
“But it is risk versus gain" Olvera explained. She said, "To save a human life, we will risk almost anything."
L.B. Basnet, the member of the Nepalese Armed Police Force who crawled into a gap to rescue Tamang, said the young man was surprisingly responsive.
"He thanked me when I first approached him," said Basnet. "He told me his name, his address, and I gave him some water. I assured him we were near to him."
The rescue was a rare bit of good news in a city that has known little but despair since the earthquake hit Saturday, leaving more than 5,500 people dead across this poverty-wracked Himalayan nation.