Bangladesh Survivor Pulled From Rubble After 17 Days

Miraculously in Bangladesh, a survivor of the fire that killed more than 1,000 people in Dhaka has been pulled from the rubble largely unharmed.

While rescuers have long assumed no more living people were in the rubble, the Bangladesh survivor was found amid the debris from the eight story building collapse 17 days ago.

The Bangladesh survivor, named Reshma, was discovered in the ruined Rana Plaza on the second floor, heard by rescuers crying “please save me.”

Official casualty counts of the number of people killed in the fire and collapse in Dhaka are shaky, and rescuers say that they’ve continued to discover clusters of bodies in the rubble.

The BBC quotes Siddiqul Alam, who says that terrified workers huddled under staircases for safety, but ultimately succumbed:

“When the building started to collapse, workers thought they would be safe under the staircases. Each time we moved a slab of concrete, we found a stack of bodies.”

Rescuers were about to demolish a slab of concrete Friday when Reshma was discovered, and one rescuer said:

“I was cutting iron rods when I suddenly found a silvery stick just moving from a hole … I looked closer and heard someone calling ‘Please save me.’ I immediately called over soldiers and firefighters.”

The Bangladesh survivor said that she’d fought to attract the rescuers for days, surviving on dried food — which had run out two days ago. Remarkably unscathed, she explains:

“I heard voices of the rescue workers for several days. I kept hitting the wreckage with sticks and rods to attract their attention. No one heard me … I ate dried food for 15 days. The last two days I had nothing but water.”

The Bangladesh survivor was transported to a local hospital, but has suffered no major injuries or even poor health given the scope of her ordeal.