People of Northwest Public Radio
Fri May 10, 2013
Reports: Survivor Rescued 17 Days After Bangladesh Building Collapse
Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 10:25 am
(Most recent update: 1:15 p.m. ET.)
There's incredible news from Bangladesh:
"Miraculous as it may sound," a survivor was rescued Friday from the rubble of the eight-story building that collapsed 17 days ago near Dhaka, The Daily Star reported this morning.
That story from Bangladesh's English-language newspaper has been followed with these bulletins from other news outlets:
-- "Bangladesh rescuers confirm they have freed [a] survivor of [the] building collapse after 17 days." (The Associated Press)
-- "Bangladesh's army has confirmed to the BBC a woman has been found alive in the remains of a building that collapsed in a suburb of Dhaka 17 days ago." (BBC News)
-- "Bangladeshi rescuers have found a woman survivor in the rubble of a garment factory complex which collapsed and killed more than 1,000 people on April 24, the country's fire service chief has told AFP news agency." (Australia's ABC News)
According to the Daily Star: "Named Reshma, the woman, who was found alive in the basement, was pulled out at 4:25 p.m." That would be 4:25 a.m. ET. Searchers had been focusing on recovering bodies, not looking for survivors. They first heard her groaning a little after 3 p.m. local time.
The death toll at the building, which housed garment factories, has risen above 1,000. Searchers continue to look for more victims.
Update at 1:15 p.m. ET. "I Never Dreamed I'd See The Daylight Again":
Speaking to reporters gathered around her hospital bed, The Guardian reports, Reshma Begum said that after the building's collapse she tried many times to get rescuers' attention but "no one heard me. It was so bad for me. I never dreamed I'd see the daylight again."
She said she survived "by scavenging for biscuits in the rucksacks of dead colleagues and drinking rainwater," the Guardian adds.
Update at 9:55 a.m. ET. More On The Rescue.
"Seconds after a team of rescuers invited journalists to visit a portion of the debris near a small puddle, army warrant officer Abdur Razzak who was standing guard near a hole, saw a stick coming out through a narrow hole, moving. Hurriedly removing the gravels, he saw the face of a woman through the hole. ... Identifying herself as Reshma, she replied that she was in good health when asked whether she could hold a bit more to let the rescuers make way into the rubble."
And according to the AP, "the woman survived by eating dried food that was in her area and drinking spare amounts of water."
Update at 7:35 a.m. ET. "She Had No Serious Injuries":
The local "head of the fire services" says the survivor "had no serious injuries," the BBC now reports. CNN says rescuers heard a faint voice saying, "I'm alive, I'm alive, please rescue me."