Bangladesh collapse: woman gives birth under rubble
A YOUNG woman gave birth to a boy while trapped underneath the rubble of the garment factory which collapsed in the Bangladeshi city of Dhaka last week, killing more than 341 people.
One rescuer, Didar Hossain, said he had been in the search party which found the woman and her new-born under a tangle of concrete pillars.
"The lady who gave birth to a baby boy was rescued on Wednesday after six hours," he said. "She gave birth while inside the building. She was about 26 or 27 years old. When we found her, she said, 'Please save my baby first'."
Mr Hossain said she did not appear to have suffered any serious injuries and was taken out from the debris, reunited with her relatives and taken to her family home.
"The baby was crying," he added. "The umbilical chord was still there. After bringing them out we placed the baby in a cloth. There were other women around who took the responsibility to cut the umbilical chord."
Her extraordinary survival tale was one of a number of miraculous escape stories that have emerged. They included a cluster of 40 survivors who were pulled out from a room beneath the tangled concrete and steel beams in the early hours of Saturday morning without any injuries.
They were discovered alive at 1.30am by a group of 12 volunteers who searched inside the rubble throughout the night. They had survived more than 72 hours trapped in temperatures of 95F (35C) and without food or water.
"They were not injured much but of course they had became very weak," said one of the rescuers. "By 3:30 am we managed to bring all of them out. Most of them said that they don't need to be sent to hospital."
One those rescued was Mojibur Rahman, whose relatives had kept a vigil outside the cordon holding photographs of him and praying for his survival.
"He is fine now," his brother Norbat said. "He says that he was behind the main pillar, so when the roof collapsed, he was saved. He was not injured but is in hospital as he is very weak. One thing he says again and again, is that due to 'the fear that I have experienced now, I will not be scared of dying.'"
The rescue emerged as the government postponed a plan to turn the rescue mission into a clearance operation using heavy machinery to clear the dead bodies and rubble. Officials believed that the victims would not be able to survive for more than 72 hours after the collapse, but appeared to be holding back following protests from relatives and reports that more of those trapped were still alive.
One of the rescuers told The Telegraph he believed many more were holding on below the rubble.
"I think there are more that 100 people still alive inside the building," he said.