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UK team pulls child from rubble

 
 
 

UK rescuers have pulled a 14-year-old boy alive from the rubble of a collapsed building in Muzaffarabad, the epicentre of the Kashmir earthquake.

"They pulled out a live person at 0800 local time on Monday, which is really good news," said John Ryan, a spokesman for the International Rescue Corps.

It comes as British rescue teams step up their efforts across affected areas.

In Islamabad, a team from Rapid UK is trying to save a woman heard tapping from beneath a collapsed building.

The IRC team has been working in the hard-hit Muzaffarabad area after reaching Pakistan-controlled Kashmir's capital on Sunday.

The 14-strong team has set up base camp in the town and plans to concentrate it searches in the area.

She also said there was a huge sense of loss, with teams discovering hundreds of bodies.

And, despite pointing out that a teenage boy had been found, she added: "At the moment we are still in the search and rescue phase but there will come a point when we have to think about the people who have survived.

Everywhere we go there are people that have lost every member of their family. It is a desperate situation
Julie Ryan

"There is a cut off point when you have to stop searching for one person and look after all those who have survived.

"Everywhere we go there are people that have lost every member of their family. It is a desperate situation."

Meanwhile, British rescuers trying to free a woman left trapped under collapsed flats in Islamabad said they had re-established contact with her.

The woman has been buried alive under the rubble in Islamabad since Saturday.

'Stressful'

Tony Holland, leader of the Rapid UK team which is carrying out the painstaking rescue, said rescuers had lost contact with the woman overnight.

But after hearing her tapping, he told the BBC she now had a "50-50 chance".

The rescuers detected the woman while rescuing three people from debris of the high rise Margella Tower on Sunday.

Mr Holland told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "At more or less the same time we detected a fourth person, which was a lady, and we had verbal and tapping contact with her."

He said contact with her had been lost during the night, but they could now hear her tapping again.

The team from the UK rescue charity has focused on the destroyed apartment blocks since its arrival in Pakistan on Saturday.

More survivors

The team rescued two survivors from the building within hours of arriving in the devastated region.

The building was described as "so concertinaed it looks like a pancake", BBC News World Affairs Correspondent Mike Wooldridge said at the scene.

He said the collapsed apartment block on the outskirts of the capital was the worst damage that Islamabad itself had seen.

Mr Holland added that he believed they would still find people alive.

The team is working with specialised equipment such as CO2 sniffers and snake-eye cameras to move through the building.

 

 

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