s 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
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- How my boyfriend and I learned to live on one income
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the poor's investment of choice is so alarming
- Obama's next steps on immigration
- Why China's Communist Party is headed for collapse
- Affirmative action is doomed. Here's what progressives should do about it.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How to make perfect fried rice in 6 easy steps
- Why Texas Republicans may want to cool the anti-Obama land-grab talk
Subscribe to the Week