Rishi Khanal is lucky to be alive. The 27-year-old man was trapped inside a collapsed building for about 82 hours alongside three dead bodies before a search-and-rescue team pulled him out on Tuesday. Khanal told the Associated Press: “I had some hope, but by yesterday I’d given up.”

Before the 7.8-magnitude quake that took more than 5,000 lives, Khanal had lunch at a hotel in Kathmandu. Soon after he finished and made it to the second floor of the seven-story building, everything began to shake. Khanal was hit by a falling stone, trapped with his foot beneath rubble.

“My nails went all white and my lips cracked,” he told the AP from his hospital bed. “I was sure no one was coming for me. I was certain I was going to die.”

For three days, Khanal was surrounded by the stench of the dead bodies trapped inside the room. Without food or water, he drank his own urine. Khanal kept banging on the rubble that surrounded him until someone finally came to help. He told the AP: “There was no sound going out, or coming in. I kept banging against the rubble and finally someone responded and came to help.”

A Nepali-French search-and-rescue team pulled Khanal from the rubble after a five-hour operation, Reuters reported. Doctors believe that Khanal has a broken leg.

“It seems he survived by sheer willpower,” his doctor, Akhilesh Shrestha, said.

“It feels good. I am thankful,” Khanal told the AP.

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