Borders family return from Nepal earthquake

The happy visit to a museum & temple moments before the earthquake Credit: David & Aileen Knox

It's a terrifying situation for anyone, being caught up in an earthquake while on holiday, but for a family from Melrose, it was made all the more frightening because their 4-year-old daughter was with them too.

David & Aileen Knox had been enjoying a 2-week holiday in Nepal, a country they say they've fallen in love with, when an earthquake measuring 7.8 magnitude shook the museum they were visiting.

"It was a minute of absolute terror and then what followed was just the most horrific scenes outside."

David Knox

The earthquake hit just moments after they had left the main museum building, which lay in ruins after the minute of destruction. The family were lucky to have escaped.

They were ushered into a garden for safety, but smaller tremors continued. The couple turned it into a game as their daughter hid under a table with Nepali children.

4-year-old Jess hid under a table with other children Credit: David & Aileen Knox

"Jess was shouting about the floor's wibbly wobbling, so I was kind of shouting 'wow the floor's going!' But I was kind of really worried that the ceiling was going to come in."

Aileen Knox

After several hours, they made their way across Kathmandu to gather their bags from the Guest House. The staff helped them walk their luggage across the city to the airport.

The museum and temples they were visiting were badly damaged. Credit: David & Aileen Knox

"We saw that all these temples - I don't know what height they'd be... maybe about 70 / 80 feet tall - had just crashed down to the ground - obviously with people inside them and below them, and it was just rubble everywhere. That was when I realised just how bad it could be. We still had no idea that it had affected the whole of Nepal, we thought it was just our own little part of Nepal had been hit by this earthquake, but it was just gradually as the day wore on... As we made our way out to the airport, we saw the roads were all broken up and cracked and we saw house after house had been knocked down. When we got to the airport there was thousands and thousands of people all trying to get in, all trying to get flights, with no idea how we were going to get home."

David Knox
British holidaymakers doing yoga in the British Embassy as they waited to return home Credit: David & Aileen Knox

The family spent 2 days camped at the airport trying to get home, at first sleeping outside on the ground.

The earthquake hit on Saturday 25th April. They made it back to their rural cottage in Melrose on Friday night (1st May).

Jess Knox sleeping at Kathmandu Airport Credit: David & Aileen Knox

"We're very relieved to be home but at the same time we've left a country that we fell in love with - the people - and it seems sad because they're in such a dire, dire situation there in Nepal, people who'd helped us throughout our holiday and after the earthquake, people who helped us and showed us kindness. Yet we've come here and they're still there."

David Knox
The Knox family are now home safe in Melrose Credit: ITV News Border

Over 6000 people are now thought to have died in Nepal, including 18 climbers on Everest, the worst tragedy the mountain has ever seen.

More than 14,000 have been injured and the United Nations estimates around 8 million people have been affected, with around 1.8 million Nepalise displaced.

The Nepalise government says over 130,000 homes have been destroyed.

The Knox family says they'll now work at raising money for the aid effort and will go back in a few years, to help the tourist industry recover.

Jess with Nepali Children during their holiday to Nepal Credit: David & Aileen Knox
The family say they had an amazing 16 days in Nepal before the disaster Credit: David & Aileen Knox
The family say they 'fell in love' with Nepal Credit: David & Aileen Knox
The family say they feel 'guilty to be British' & able to return home Credit: David & Aileen Knox