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Bangladesh workers find survivor in factory rubble

Posted by on May. 10, 2013 at 11:35 AM
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Bangladesh workers find survivor in factory rubble

Bangladesh rescuers rescued a woman trapped in rubble 17 days after garment building collapse

Associated PressBy Julhas Alam, Associated Press | Associated Press - 2 hrs 19 mins ago

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  • Rescue workers rescue a woman from the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building, in Savar May 10, 2013. The woman, identified by local media only as Reshma, was rescued on Friday after spending 17 days trapped under the rubble of a Bangladesh factory building that collapsed on April 24, killing more than 1,000 people, police and military officials said. REUTERS/Sanaul Huq   (BANGLADESH - Tags: DISASTER TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)View Photo

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  • Rescuers carry a survivor pulled out from the rubble of a building that collapsed in Saver, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, May 10, 2013. Rescue workers in Bangladesh freed the woman buried for 17 days inside the wreckage of a garment factory building that collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people. Soldiers at the site said her name was Reshma and described her as being in remarkably good shape despite her ordeal. (AP Photo/Parvez Ahmad Rony)View Photo

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DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) -- A seamstress buried in the wreckage of a collapsed garment factory building for 17 days was rescued Friday, a miraculous moment set against a scene of unimaginable horror, where the death toll shot past 1,000.

Reshma survived, in remarkably good shape, by eating dried food that was in her area and drinking spare amounts of water with her. She was discovered on the second floor of the eight-story Rana Plaza building, where crews have been focused on recovering bodies, not rescuing survivors, for much of the past two weeks.

"I heard voices of the rescue workers for the past several days. I kept hitting the wreckage with sticks and rods just to attract their attention," she told the private Somoy TV from her hospital bed as doctors and nurses milled about, giving her saline and checking her condition.

"No one heard me. It was so bad for me. I never dreamed I'd see the daylight again," she said.

"There was some dried food around me. I ate the dried food for 15 days. The last two days I had nothing but water. I used to drink only a limited quantity of water to save it. I had some bottles of water around me," she said.

Once Reshma finally got their attention, the crews ordered the cranes and bulldozers to immediately stop work and used handsaws and welding and drilling equipment to cut through the iron rod and debris still trapping her. They gave her water, oxygen and saline as they worked to free her.

When Reshma was freed after 40 minutes, the crowd erupted in wild cheers. She was rushed to a military hospital in an ambulance, but her rescuers said she was in shockingly good condition, despite her ordeal.

Abdur Razzak, a warrant officer with the military's engineering department who first spotted her in the wreckage, said she could even walk.

"She was fine, no injuries. She was just trapped. The space was wide," said Lt. Col. Moyeen, an army official at the scene.

Reshma told her rescuers there were no more survivors in her area. Workers began tearing through the nearby rubble anyway, hoping to find another person alive.

"Reshma told me there were three others with her. They died. She did not see anybody else alive there," said Maj. Gen. Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy, the head of the local military units. "We will continue our search until a survivor or a dead body is there."

The woman survived for more than two weeks in temperatures that touched the mid 90s (mid 30s Celsius). She scrounged for whatever food she could find, Suhrawardy said.

Then, when the workers with bulldozers and cranes got close to the area where she was trapped, she took a steel pipe and began banging it to attract attention, Razzak said. The workers ran into the dark rubble, eventually getting flashlights, to free her, he said.

Reshma's mother and her sister, Asma, rushed to the hospital to meet her.

Hundreds of people who had been engaged in the grim job of removing decomposing bodies from the site raised their hands together in prayer for her survival.

 

A survivor lies on a stretcher after being pulled out from the rubble of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, May 10, 2013. Rescue workers in Bangladesh freed the woman ... more 
A survivor lies on a stretcher after being pulled out from the rubble of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, May 10, 2013. Rescue workers in Bangladesh freed the woman buried for 17 days inside the wreckage of a garment factory building that collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people. Soldiers at the site said her name was Reshma and described her as being in remarkably good shape despite her ordeal. (AP Photo) less 
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Fri, May 10, 2013 9:33 AM EDT
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With light and love

by on May. 10, 2013 at 11:35 AM
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