As the death toll from the factory building collapse in Bangladesh passed 1,000, rescue workers found a glimmer of hope: Incredibly, a woman was pulled from the rubble after being trapped for 17 days.
The woman, identified by The New York Times as Reshma, was pulled from the wreckage after clean-up crews noticed a pipe moving below them. At the time, hopes of finding anyone alive had faded, and work crews were using heavy machinery to clear debris.
After a bulldozer cleared some loose rubble, Abdur Razzaq, an army sergeant, noticed the pipe Reshma had been using to breathe from the basement of the eight-story building, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Under the debris, where she faced 95-degree heat and 80-percent humidity, she survived by eating biscuits from the bags of dead colleagues, according to The Wall Street Journal. Near the end, supplies were running low, she told The Associated Press:
I ate the dried food for 15 days. The last two days I had nothing but water. I used to drink only a limited quantity of water to save it. I had some bottles of water around me. [Associated Press]
Once workers noticed her, they started drilling through debris as they gave her water, oxygen, and saline, according to the AP. She was reportedly unhurt as rescuers pulled her free to cheers from a crowd that had gathered. According to the Times, the last person before Reshma to be rescued from the site was a woman named Shaheena on April 28.
Overall, 1,038 dead bodies have been pulled from the Rana Plaza complex, which housed five factories before collapsing on April 24. The building's owner, Mohammed Sohel Ran, was arrested by police after a four-day manhunt and could face the death penalty if convicted of murder or manslaughter, according to Reuters.
The building collapse has led to criticism over unsafe working conditions and poor labor practices in the country's garment industry, the world's second biggest behind China.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- The simple trick to making better decisions in every aspect of life
- Let us now praise Billy Joel
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- Why the government should pay every American child an allowance
Subscribe to the Week