May 11, 2013

Reshma rescued after 17 days

It’s a miracle! A garment worker named Reshma was rescued alive on Friday afternoon from a mountain of rubble of collapsed multi-storey building Rana Plaza on the 17th day of hectic salvage operation into the country’s worst industrial disaster at Savar. The army-led rescuers traced the survivor in a basement cavity under the debris of Rana Plaza at around 3:15pm. Almost 408 hours into the rescue operation, a rescuer heard Reshma groaning, officials on the spot said.
Rescue workers said as they could see somebody moving a small stick, peeping through a hole of a collapsed roof, they were confused whether any of the rescue workers was trapped in. They talked to her through a pipe and came to know about her identity. As the jubilant rescuers inquired about her condition, Reshma said she was not much hurt.
She said she was trapped under the collapsed building and went to the room of Namaz (Muslim prayer). “I used to eat the foods left by others. I drank drops of water poured into the room from the above. At one stage, the foods were finished—and I was living on small quantity of water.” She said she had been starving in last two days as all foods were finished.
Having traced the survivor, rescuers had given her water and biscuits, stopping use of any heavy machines to make sure that the survivor is not hurt anyway.
“I used to hear the sound of machines used by the rescuers and hoped that I will be brought to safety by the grace of Allah,” she added.
“All present at the site raised their hands in prayer to have the working girl alive amongst them,” says a firsthand account of the breathtaking moment—rarely seen before. She was taken to Savar CMH immediately after the rescue.
Reshma is the youngest of the three daughters and two brothers born to their parents. Her husband, Razzak, left her seven months ago. Hailed from village Kashigari in Ghoraghat upazila of Dinajpur, Reshma used to work at New Wave Bottoms on the second floor of the commercial complex, Rana Plaza.
Army doctors at the CMH said she is out of danger. Yet the physicians were examining her for more safety.
On April 24, the 9-storey building, which housed five garment factories, a branch of bank and a market, collapsed all of a sudden. The death toll rose to 1058 in the worst accident in the garment industry - country’s main export earner and employer of around four million people, mainly women.
Bangladesh Today