Survivor Reshma rescued from Dhaka wreckage after 17 days

'Please save me, please save me!' Young woman who survived garment factory collapse is found alive

(Image credit: 2013 AFP)

A YOUNG woman has been found alive in the wreckage of the Dhaka garment factory which collapsed in Bangladesh 17 days ago. Rescuers had given up hope of finding survivors and were removing decomposing bodies from the site when they discovered the woman, named Reshma, this morning.

There were jubilant scenes when the incredible discovery was made, with rescuers ordering the cranes and bulldozers to stop work immediately. Reshma was spotted waving her hand and shouting "I'm still here". She had been trapped in the building's basement, the BBC reports.

"As we were clearing rubble, we called out [to see] if anyone was alive," one unnamed rescuer said. "Then we heard her saying: 'Please save me, please save me!'"

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Workers shouted "praise Allah" during the 45 minutes they spent freeing her. Reshma, who is thought to be in her late teens, did not have any “significant" injuries despite the ordeal. She smiled as she was given food and water by rescuers before being taken by ambulance to a military hospital.

It is believed Reshma may have survived for such a long time because of the large amounts of oxygen and water rescuers pumped into the wreckage of the factory during the initial efforts to free trapped workers. Bangladesh's prime minister Sheikh Hasina had already visited Reshma in hospital, ITV News reports.

More than 1,000 people were killed after the eight-storey Rana Plaza building collapsed last month in Bangladesh's worst ever industrial accident.

There were reports that garment workers at the Rana Plaza building were threatened with 'beating sticks' to make them enter the factory before its collapse. Bangladesh has one of the largest clothing industries in the world, employing around 3.6 million people. Some earn as little as $38 a month.

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