Woman Found Alive In Bangladesh Factory Collapse After 17 Days In Rubble

On April 24, a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people. On Thursday, 17 days after the five-story building fell to the ground, a final survivor was discovered. Reshma Begum, a seamstress at Rana Plaza, was pulled from the rubble, after rescue crews heard her banging on a pipe. “I heard the sound and rushed towards the spot. I knelt down and heard a faint voice. Sir, please help me, she cried,” said Abdur Razzaq, an army sergeant who was involved in the rescue.

Workers furiously worked to remove debris from the area, and 40 minutes after Razza first heard Begum’s voice, she’d been freed. Dehydrated and missing clumps of hair, but otherwise in good health, Begum said she’d survived by scavenging for food in the rucksacks of dead colleagues. What were the conditions like for Begum? On a typical April day in Bangladesh the weather is around 95 degrees, with 80 percent humidity.

“It is incredible that someone could have survived in the wreckage,” said Army Lt. Shah Jamal. “Her will to live is amazing. We’ve given her oxygen and she has been rushed to hospital.” Begum spent more than 400 hours beneath the wreckage.

On April 29, Sohel Rana, the owner of the Rana Plaza factory, was caught trying to flee the country. He is part of a group of factory owners that will be charged with “faulty construction and causing unlawful death.”

The factory made clothes for British brands Primark, Joe Fresh, Mango, Bon Marche, and Spanish chain El Corte Ingles. [Wall Street Journal]