Woman rescued after 17 days trapped in rubble of Bangladesh factory

DHAKA Fri May 10, 2013 8:25am EDT

1 of 3. Rescue workers rescue a woman from the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building, in Savar May 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Sanaul Huq

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DHAKA (Reuters) - A woman 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.

Bangladeshi television channels broadcast live footage of emergency service workers pulling the woman from the collapsed building, as onlookers burst into cheers.

The woman, identified by Bangladeshi media only as Reshma, was shown being carried on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance as a rescue worker applied an oxygen mask to her face.

"She had been rescued and taken to a military hospital," said Bangladesh's army spokesman Shahinul Islam.

(Reporting Ruma Paul; Editing By Matthew Green and Robert Birsel)

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Comments (3)
Reuters1945 wrote:
The rescue of this young woman, who miraculously survived the original collapse of the Bangladesh factory building and then yet again, miraculously survived for 17 days, buried beneath the rubble, is a moving Testament to the human spirit’s will and ability to survive against all odds.

All the women, who survived this unspeakable tragedy, many of whom earned as little as the equivalent of 28 US dollars per Month, should never have to make another piece of clothing again for the rest of their lives.

There is no way any human being can begin to know what these countless hundreds of women went through. The terrifying deaths, the screams of fear, the sound of collapsing floors and walls, the broken bones and for many the broken dreams of trying to save for a better life, toiling for endless hours just to bring home a small pocketful of money to feed their families.

I believe if the immediate victims of the 9/11 Twin Towers in NYC were offered as much as one million US dollars each, for the horrendous pain and suffering they endured, then surely simple common Justice demands that all the victims of the Bangladesh factory tragedy, both those who survived, as well as the families of those who did not, should receive some very serious compensation for what they endured.

No amount of money, regardless of how much, can ever hope to compensate adequately, what all these unfortunate women went through but at least some effort MUST be made to allow them some modicum of Justice and the ability to rebuild their shattered lives.

It is difficult for me to look at my chests and closets full of items of clothing with “Made in Bangladesh” labels, and not wonder: “Was this shirt held in the hands of one of those poor unfortunate women who did not survive this epic tragedy.

Indeed it is hard to wear such items of clothing now. Was a shirt worth someone dying for ?

And for “Reshma”, in particular, who tenaciously held unto Life, when the authorities had already publicly announced, days ago, that there was virtually no likelihood that anyone would still be found alive, I hope a Special “Reshma Fund” will be set up so that all the citizens of the world, but especially those who own clothes that say “Made in Bangladesh”, may contribute.

I would like to see “Reshma”, who appears to be no more than 15 years old, be afforded the best Medical care in the world, in a private room inundated with fresh flowers every day of the week and all the fresh air and sunlight she was denied while trapped in darkness beneath a smoldering mountain of dust and rubble.

And when “Reshma” is ultimately released from Hospital, I want to see her go to school, most likely something she has never known, and begin an entirely new life that does not include sewing buttons on thousands of garments each week from sunrise to sunset and being scolded if she does not work fast enough and produce enough to meet the daily quota.

The world must learn something, actually countless lessons, from this terrible human tragedy that sprang from the limitless greed of selfish men and yes- let us call this whole nasty business what it really and truly represents, the never ending exploitation of the weakest of the weak on the surface of the Earth.

Henceforth, let every consumer, everywhere, even in the most far flung countries reflect on these things the next time they put on a garment that says “Made in Bangladesh” and/or any of the countless sweat shop factories all over the globe, where people toil endlessly, their entire lives whilst receiving the most meager of meager wages.

And let us all reflect: “There but for the Grace of God- go I.”

May 10, 2013 10:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Reuters1945 wrote:
The rescue of this young woman, who miraculously survived the original collapse of the Bangladesh factory building and then yet again, miraculously survived for 17 days, buried beneath the rubble, is a moving Testament to the human spirit’s will and ability to survive against all odds.

All the women, who survived this unspeakable tragedy, many of whom earned as little as the equivalent of 28 US dollars per Month, should never have to make another piece of clothing again for the rest of their lives.

There is no way any human being can begin to know what these countless hundreds of women went through. The terrifying deaths, the screams of fear, the sound of collapsing floors and walls, the broken bones and for many the broken dreams of trying to save for a better life, toiling for endless hours just to bring home a small pocketful of money to feed their families.

I believe if the immediate victims of the 9/11 Twin Towers in NYC were offered as much as one million US dollars each, for the horrendous pain and suffering they endured, then surely simple common Justice demands that all the victims of the Bangladesh factory tragedy, both those who survived, as well as the families of those who did not, should receive some very serious compensation for what they endured.

No amount of money, regardless of how much, can ever hope to compensate adequately, what all these unfortunate women went through but at least some effort MUST be made to allow them some modicum of Justice and the ability to rebuild their shattered lives.

It is difficult for me to look at my chests and closets full of items of clothing with “Made in Bangladesh” labels, and not wonder: “Was this shirt held in the hands of one of those poor unfortunate women who did not survive this epic tragedy.

Indeed it is hard to wear such items of clothing now. Was a shirt worth someone dying for ?

And for “Reshma”, in particular, who tenaciously held unto Life, when the authorities had already publicly announced, days ago, that there was virtually no likelihood that anyone would still be found alive, I hope a Special “Reshma Fund” will be set up so that all the citizens of the world, but especially those who own clothes that say “Made in Bangladesh”, may contribute.

I would like to see “Reshma”, who appears to be no more than 15 years old, be afforded the best Medical care in the world, in a private room inundated with fresh flowers every day of the week and all the fresh air and sunlight she was denied while trapped in darkness beneath a smoldering mountain of dust and rubble.

And when “Reshma” is ultimately released from Hospital, I want to see her go to school, most likely something she has never known, and begin an entirely new life that does not include sewing buttons on thousands of garments each week from sunrise to sunset and being scolded if she does not work fast enough and produce enough to meet the daily quota.

The world must learn something, actually countless lessons, from this terrible human tragedy that sprang from the limitless greed of selfish men and yes- let us call this whole nasty business what it really and truly represents, the never ending exploitation of the weakest of the weak on the surface of the Earth.

Henceforth, let every consumer, everywhere, even in the most far flung countries reflect on these things the next time they put on a garment that says “Made in Bangladesh” and/or any of the countless sweat shop factories all over the globe, where people toil endlessly, their entire lives whilst receiving the most meager of meager wages.

And let us all reflect: “There but for the Grace of God- go I.”

May 10, 2013 10:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
CatherineS wrote:
I don’t understand why, if these men have been digging out rubble for two weeks, they are all wearing brand new, clean uniforms. In one photo on Huffington Post, one rescuer is wearing brand new shoes. It confuses me. It is an amazing story of survival, if it is true, but it does not seem possible. I am ashamed of my skepticism. I usually believe everything.

May 10, 2013 5:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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