Miraculous as it may sound, female garment worker was rescued alive, almost unhurt, from inside the rubble of Rana Plaza Friday afternoon, the 17th day into the country’s worst building collapse.
Named Reshma, the woman in violet kamiz and pink scarf was pulled out from the basement debris at 4:16pm after a 45-minute operation.
“It’s good to see the light after so many days,” a lanky Reshma said in a feeble voice, trying to smile at the jubilant rescuers and journalists.
With no sign of injuries in her body, she was whisked off to Combined Military Hospital in Savar.
“We have to check whether there is any biochemical changes in her body due to her stay inside the debris for such a long time,” Lt Col Hasan Morshed told reporters at the CMH.
Just a few minutes earlier, the rescuers were pulling out more bodies of dead victims, many of who are hard to be identifiable, from the rubble as the death toll crossed 1,000 mark the same day.
Hailing from Koshigari village in Ghoraghat upazila of Dinajpur, Reshma used to work on the second floor of the now flattened nine-storey Rana Plaza.
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.
“What could be more pleasing than to seeing a survivor standing there on the 17th day of the collapse and asking us to bring her out from there?” Maj Moazzem Hossain told The Daily Star.
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.
Stopping the use of heavy machines to avert any accident, the rescuers asked her to move a little away.
Then creating a big hole with light handheld instrument, like hand saw, hammer and drilling machine, the rescuers brought her out finally at 4:16pm.
ALL NOT LUCKY
Another woman Shaheena was found surviving inside the debris on April 28, more than 100 hours after the building collapse.
But rescuers could not pull her out of the rubble alive even after trying their best.
Ezazuddin Kaikobad, 35, who along with five other rescuers, including two army personnel, entered a tunnel inside the rubble of Rana Plaza on April 28 to pull out garment worker Shaheena, who got trapped behind a beam on the third floor.
When Ezaz was cutting a rod with power saw, a fire broke out from the sparks that originated from the rod-cutting, prompting the rescue team to retreat immediately.
He was admitted to the burn unit of CMH in Dhaka with around 55 percent burn injuries.
He died in a Singapore hospital on May 5.