Astonishing miracle in the heinous Bangladesh building collapse: 'God is so merciful!'
Woman in good condition after being pulled from rubble of collapsed sweatshop after 17 days
of the most horrific tragedies, miracles do occur. As the toll of the
Rana Plaza building, the eight-story Bangladesh sweatshop that
collapsed, rises to 1,034, there emerges the story of seamstress Reshma
Begum who managed to survive 17 days trapped in the basement. Begum is
in miraculously good condition, able to walk, leading her sister to
declare, "We got her back just when we had lost all our hope to find her
alive . God is so merciful."
Carried out on a stretcher to an awaiting ambulance, rescuers said Reshma Begum was in shockingly good condition, despite her ordeal.
One of the more agonizing details of her ordeal was the fact she heard rescuers but couldn't communicate with them. "I heard voices of the rescue workers for the past several days. I kept hitting the wreckage with sticks and rods just to attract their attention," she says.
"No one heard me. It was so bad for me. I never dreamed I'd see the daylight again," she said.
Begum was discovered near a Muslim prayer room in the basement of the building. Crews at the site by this time had begun to concentrate on recovering bodies and not on rescuing survivors.
Begum said she was working in the factory on the second floor when the building began to give way around her. She raced down a stairwell into the basement. She became trapped in a pocket that allowed her to survive.
"Reshma told me there were three others with her. They died. She did not see anybody else alive there," said Maj. Gen. Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy, the head of the local military units. The other bodies were eventually recovered from another section of the building not far from Begum.
Begum finally got the crews' attention when she took a steel pipe and began banging it. Cranes and bulldozers were ordered stopped and handsaws, welding and drilling equipment were used to cut through the iron rod and debris still trapping her. Rescuers gave Begum water, oxygen and saline as they worked to free her.
Freed after 40 minutes, the crowd erupted in wild cheers. Carried out on a stretcher to an awaiting ambulance, rescuers said she was in shockingly good condition, despite her ordeal.
"She was fine, no injuries. She was just trapped. The space was wide," said Lt. Col. Moyeen, an army official at the scene who uses only one name.
Doctors at the hospital told Bangladeshi television that Begum was out of danger and her kidney and liver function were fine.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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