Sunday 20 October 2019

Miracle factory survivor lived on four biscuits for 17 days

The 18-year-old seamstress rescued unhurt last week after 17 days trapped in the rubble of the collapsed Dhaka garment factory building claims she survived on only four biscuits.

The rescue of Reshma Begum, pictured, has been hailed as a miracle, after she was pulled from the wreckage of the eight-storey Rana Plaza building last Friday without any wounds and dressed in a pristine mauve salwar kameez and pink scarf. She was discovered when a rescue worker called out for any survivors before giving the go-ahead for heavy machinery to break up a concrete floor.

She shouted "save me" and was pulled from a hole in the rubble minutes later.

On the day in which Bangladesh rescue workers called off the search for survivors – with the death toll standing at 1,127 – Ms Begum vowed never to work in a garment factory again, as she told a press conference in her hospital's lobby about her ordeal.

She said she could not explain how she had survived for so long in temperatures of up to 35C.

"I do not know how do I dare to survive? Everything is the wish of Allah," she said.

When the second floor first collapsed she had been with three colleagues who had died. "I cannot say what happened next. I got a pain on the head and so I cannot narrate the whole incident. I cannot remember all what I saw.

"Those who were along with me, they died. They shouted for help but I couldn't do anything for them."

Despite her desperation, she was anxious to change out of her shredded clothes. A rescuer dropped down a torch, she said, to help her find another outfit in the rubble.

Meanwhile, retailing giants H&M and Penneys' operator Primark have signed up to a fire and building safety agreement to help protect thousands of workers in Bangladesh's garment industry.

H&M and Primark said parties to the agreement would be committed to the goal of a safe industry. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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