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Woman found alive 17 days after Bangladesh building collapse

The survivor is said to be in remarkably good shape despite her ordeal.

Parvez Ahmad Rony/AP/Press Association Images

IT HAS BEEN 17 days since the Bangladesh city of Savar was devastated by a building collapse which killed more than 1,000 people.

But citizens were provided with some good news and hope today as a woman named Reshma was pulled from the site alive and well.

Soldiers at the former garment factory said the survivor was in remarkably good shape, despite her ordeal.

She had been trapped in the basement under piles of rubble. Rescue teams were said to have been stunned when they heard a voice calling for help. They managed to pull her from the ruins in an operation that was broadcast live on television.

According to bystanders, she smiled weakly before being rushed off in an ambulance from the Rana Plaza complex on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka.

She has since been admitted to the intensive care unit of the Savar Combined Military Hospital.

The country’s fire service chief told AFP that Reshma had been found in a gap between a beam and column in the wreckage of the nine-storey complex, which had caved in on April 24, and appeared to have access to water.

“She may have reserves of water or have drunk some of the water that we’ve pumped into the building.”

The rescue operation took about 45 minutes with the team using light hammers, a hand saw and drilling machines. It is understood Reshma was standing when she was found.

“She said she has not eaten for the last two days. She said she has eaten some dried food like biscuits,” said one rescuer. “She said she had found a safe place and found some air and light.”

The death toll has now reached 1,045, making it one of the world’s deadliest industrial disasters. The preliminary findings of a government probe blamed vibrations from four giant generators on the upper floors for triggering the collapse.

Police have arrested 12 people including the plaza’s owner and four factory bosses for forcing people to work on the day of the disaster, even though cracks appeared in the structure the day before.

-Additional reporting by AFP

Poll: Will the Bangladesh factory collapse change the way you shop?

Earlier: Death toll passes 1,000 as stacks of bodies found

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