UK

Nepal earthquake: British survivors arrive back in UK

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Media captionPeople returning to the UK from Nepal talk about what happened to them when the earthquake hit

Britons caught up in the Nepal earthquake have been reunited with their families after an aid flight carrying 120 people landed in the UK.

There were emotional scenes as family members greeted relatives after the plane landed at Stansted Airport shortly after 03:00 BST.

Saturday's 7.8-magnitude quake killed more than 5,000 people.

The Foreign Office has confirmed that one British dual national, Hemchandra Rai, 42, was killed in the disaster.

The married father-of-three lived in Hong Kong. Reports of another possible British victim killed at Mount Everest base camp are still being investigated.

Meanwhile, a boy and a woman have been rescued from collapsed buildings in Kathmandu after surviving for five days in the rubble.

The UK government is preparing to send three RAF Chinook helicopters to help the relief effort as well as giving £2.5m to the UN's Humanitarian Air Service, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said.

The military and UN helicopters will be used to ferry people and aid supplies across remote and hard to reach terrain.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Children and those with health conditions were given priority for the flight
Image copyright PA
Image caption The aid flight from Nepal carrying 120 Britons arrived at Stansted airport shortly after 03:00 BST

Among those arriving back at Stansted on board the Department for International Development (DfID) chartered Boeing 767 - which flew aid out to Nepal on Sunday - were children and people chosen as a priority because of health conditions.

The youngest passenger was a three-month-old baby.

Husband and wife Grahame and Holly Jobes, from Sunderland, were reunited as he stepped through immigration.

Narrow escape

Mr Jobes, who was in Nepal for a friend's wedding, later told the BBC he was in Kathmandu when the earthquake struck.

Image caption Grahame and Holly Jobes were reunited on Thursday

"Things were dropping down, people were running.

"I am very fortunate, I managed to get out. I was next to people who are no longer here.

"I have three children and a new baby on the way, it was just a matter of staying alive really."

Mrs Jobes, who is seven months pregnant, said she was relieved to have her husband back.

"It has been a long morning and a long night, and long few days to be honest with you, but we are very pleased to be home."

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Image caption There were emotional scenes as family members greeted relatives off the aid flight
Image copyright PA
Image caption Friends and family of the British nationals waited at Stansted Airport for the plane's arrival

Harry Quinn, 26, from Brighton, said a hotel which had turned him away because it was full, completely collapsed with 80 people inside.

"We were among the lucky ones but we saw plenty of others who weren't so lucky."

Ingrid Chiene, from Stroud, Gloucestershire, was greeted by her sons Harry, 12, and Ethan, 10.

"When it happened the whole building was moving from side to side and we thought it was going to fall down," she said.

"We looked outside and we could see a Mexican wave of other buildings moving."

'Unbearable wait'

About 30 British and Irish families are reportedly still waiting for news of their loved ones who may have been in Nepal at the time of the earthquake.

Judy Ross from Bath said she feared for the safety of her daughter, Susannah Ross, 20, who is among a group of trekkers stranded in northern Nepal following Saturday's earthquake.

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Media captionMother fears for safety of daughter caught in Nepal earthquake

She has heard her daughter is alive but said she did not know what state she was in, and that she feared boulders "the size of a car" were still falling in the area.

Ms Ross added the family was struggling to get information from the authorities about whether helicopters would be sent in to carry out a rescue.

Rescue operation

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The rescue operation continues in Nepal, where the prime minister has said the death toll could double to 10,000

An appeal launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has raised more than £19m in the UK - including £14m in public donations and £5m from the government, which matched the first £5m of public donations.

The UK government has also pledged £15m to Nepal in aid.

Members of a 60-strong UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team have also started searching for victims on the ground - including in remote parts of Nepal - with specialist rescue dogs.

Hundreds of shelter kits and solar lanterns are among 18 tonnes of supplies from the UK which have arrived in the devastated region, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said.

A team of Gurkha engineers - 12 from 2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles and six from the Queen's Gurkha Engineers - has also travelled to the country to help operate water purification equipment.

The DEC, an umbrella organisation that brings together 13 British aid charities to deal with international crises, has launched a website and donation line.

Image copyright Department for International Development
Image caption Aid from the UK has arrived in Nepal
Image copyright Department for International Development
Image caption Hundreds of shelter kits and solar lanterns are among 18 tonnes of supplies sent from the UK to Nepal
Image copyright Department for International Development