Bangladesh: Miracle survivor doing well

2013-05-11 14:08

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Survivor found in Bangladesh collapsed building

2013-05-10 13:39

Bangladeshi rescuers have found a woman survivor in the rubble of a garment factory complex which collapsed 17 days ago and killed more than 1000 people. Watch.WATCH

Savar - Bangladeshi doctors treating a "miracle" survivor pulled from ruins of a collapsed building after 17 days said on Saturday she was doing "great" and had been reunited with her family.

Reshma, 18, a seamstress dug out from the rubble of the garment factory complex onFriday, "never gave up hope" she would be rescued from the ruins of one of the world's worst industrial disasters, army doctor Fakrul Islam told AFP.

"She's doing great," he said after speaking to her on Saturday morning, adding she was suffering from the effects of a lack of food as she had survived on just "four pieces of biscuits."

"She's eating food and fruits. All her vital organs are okay," Islam said, as the death toll from the disaster reached 1 084.

Reshma had a "very good sleep and was reunited with her family including her mother, brother and sister", army captain Ibrahimul Islam told AFP.

He said Reshma told him she found the biscuits and water in an air pocket she reached after the 24 April cave-in and added she might regain more memories as her condition improves.

"Only then we can get a clear picture of how she survived miraculously for 17 days under such hot, humid conditions," he said.

Rescuers found her hours after officials announced the death toll had surged past the 1 000 mark and they had long abandoned hope of locating more survivors.

"I called but nobody heard me. I heard noises, but nobody listened to me," she told Somoy TV later in an interview.

Bangladesh's fire service chief Ahmed Ali told AFP Reshma was found between a beam and column in the wreckage of the complex.

"We first saw a pipe moving. We removed some gravel and concrete. We found her standing," said Major Moazzem, who goes by one name.

Jamil Ahmed, another rescuer, said bulldozers turning over rubble in the quest to recover bodies were stopped as soon as rescuers realised Reshma was alive.

"She told us: 'My name is Reshma, please save me, please save me brother'," he said.

"Major Moazzem slipped into the hole and took her into his arms and then we pulled her out."

Reshma's survival is one of the most remarkable of recent years, though not a record.

In Pakistan, on 12 December 2005, a 40-year-old woman was rescued from the ruins of her house in Kashmir two months after a quake. A 27-year-old man spent 27 days buried under the rubble of the Haitian earthquake in 2010.

Over 3 000 workers were on shift when the building caved in, most earning around $40 a month to make clothing for Western brands such as Britain's Primark and Italy's Benetton.

A preliminary government probe blamed vibrations from four giant generators on the upper floors for triggering the collapse.

Police have arrested 12 people including the plaza's owner and four factory bosses over the tragedy.

Read more on:    bangladesh  |  bangladesh building collapse

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