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Bangladesh: Signs of life linger in the ruins

27th Apr 2013
Bangladesh: Signs of life linger in the ruins

In this April 26 photo, rescuers take a garment worker alive into an ambulance after rescuing her from the debris of the collapsed building at Savar.


Dhaka, (The Daily Star): As heavy rain poured down from Saturday noon, it cast doubts over further rescue of people trapped inside the ill-fated nine-storey Rana Plaza. But rescuers surprisingly managed to bring out one more survivor from the deepest part of the wreckage.

“There are a number of people still alive at the third floor of the wreckage,” said volunteer rescuer Miraz who, along with other rescuers brought out a woman alive around 1:00pm.

“I have talked to them standing close to a tunnel that took us to a broken pillar. They gathered on the other side of the pillar. When I talked to them, they called my name and said that they don’t want to come out. I don’t know what’s wrong,” Miraz said.

Fireman Gias Uddin, Miraz and others conducted rescue operation through a hole that was drilled last night to reach the deepest part of the wreckage—the third and second floor.

Through this hole as many as 23 persons were rescued alive since last night. The sounds of others being alive now remind everyone that miracles still happen.

Two volunteers from Kamrangirchar seem to be the most useful persons in the rescue mission using this hole.

Kamrul Islam, 28, and Atan, 30, are rickshaw-pullers having a common physical characteristic.

Both of them are very lean and thin. For their physical structure, they could slip in through narrow holes easily.

“I came here last night at 10:00pm just to help people,” said Kamrul, adding “as I am very thin, I was put on this job to get inside the hole that the rescuers had just completed drilling.”

This hole was created from the side of the building to access the third and second floors that was not explored before.

“When I got in with a torch, I came across five bodies—three females and two males—crushed under machinery and rotting. They cannot be recovered intact. They would have to be cut. So I left it like that,” said Kamrul.

Kamrul returned to the hole this morning to reach the third floor where he found more bodies.

“But I found a woman who was still alive, but also very ill. We recovered her,” he said.

“Now we are trying to reach the second floor by drilling a hole,” Kamrul noted adding that he would be volunteering as long as it took to rescue the victims.


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Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

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