“Survivor found in Bangladesh rubble” 17 days after factory collapse

European Pressphoto Agency Source: WSJ.com
European Pressphoto Agency
Source: WSJ.com

Al Jazeera has this report about a 19 year old girl who is rescued after surviving for 17 days in the rubble of a garment factory collapse near the capitol city of Bangladesh.

According to the report:

A survivor has been found in the rubble of a garment factory, 17 days after its collapse left more than 1,000 people dead.

The woman, who identified herself to rescuers as Reshma, had cried out for help as recovery teams sifted through the remnants of the Rana Plaza in the outskirts of Bangladesh capital, Dhaka.

“She has been located in a gap between a beam and a column. She may have reserves of water or have drunk some of the water that we’ve pumped into the building,” Ahmed Ali, fire service chief, told AFP news agency.

A workman helping to clear the wreckage reported hearing her faint cries of “save me, save me” from beneath the ruins. Upon investigation, he discovered the woman alive, hitting a metal pole against the rubble to make noise and attract attention.

Army engineers fed her biscuits and water, before digging through to release her – as hundreds of onlookers cheered.

Pale and drawn, the 19-year-old woman was hoisted out of the rubble on a stretcher, then loaded into an ambulance in scenes broadcast live on television.

Most of the 1,000 victims of this building collapse were female factory workers, the report states.  Some had to be buried in unmarked graves, as their bodies could not be identified.  But, DNA samples have reportedly been taken.

The report continues:

More than 3,000 garment workers were in the building’s five garment factories which made clothing for Western retailers such as Benetton, Mango and Primark when the structure collapsed after a loud bang, trapping them.

Preliminary findings of a government probe have blamed vibrations by four giant generators on the compound’s upper floors for triggering the collapse.

The building’s architect told AFP he designed the structure to house a shopping mall and offices, not factories.

Read the full report, including audio and video, click here.

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