Bangladesh Survivor Rescued From Factory Rubble: How Did Reshma Begum Stay Alive For 17 Days? [VIDEO]

bangladesh, survivor, reshma, begum, 17, days, garment, building, collapse, video

By Staff Reporter on May 10, 2013 3:49 PM EDT

Reshma Begum
Bangladesh survivor Reshma Begum is rescued from the rubble of the Rana Plaza building 17 days after the building collapsed. (Photo: Reuters/Stringer)

A Bangladesh survivor was discovered on Friday as workers continue to clear the collapsed garment factory rubble that killed more than 1,000 victims.

Seamstress Reshma Begum was trapped under thousands of pounds of debris for 17 long days before rescuers found her and pulled her out. A miracle, a Bangladesh survivor had not been pulled since April. What's more, Reshma Begum was remarkably healthy and could walk about under her own power.

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During an interview with Somov TV, Reshma Begum said she worked at the second floor of the building. When she saw the factory collapse around her, she raced down the stairwell to escape. She was eventually trapped in the basement of the eight-story Rana Plaza building. Thankfully, Begum managed to find dried food as well as bottled water.

"There was some dried food around me. 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," said Begum in an interview with Somov TV.

"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," continued Begum.

"No one heard me. It was so bad for me. I never dreamed I'd see the daylight again."

Eventually, a warrant officer heard her and ordered the cranes and bulldozers to immediately cease operation. Rescuers slowly and carefully lifted the rubble trapping Begum a piece at a time while supplying oxygen and saline to keep her alive.

Rescuers and spectators held their breath for a tense 40 minutes until Begum was finally freed. The excited crowd celebrated with wild cheers as Begum was taken to the hospital. Army official Lt. Col. Moyeen revealed that did not suffer any injuries, but was only trapped within a relatively wide space.

At the hospital, doctors confirmed Reshma Begum's kidney and liver functioned fine.

Unfortunately, Reshma told authorities that three other victims were with her when the building collapsed, but none survived.

The April 24 Bangladesh garment factory building collapse claimed the lives of 1,045 victims and counting. More than 2,500 workers were rescued immediately after the disaster. Unfortunately, few survivors were discovered after the first day.

The last discovered survivor before Reshma Begum was Shahin Akter. Unfortunately, Akter later died of smoke inhalation.

One of the deadliest disasters in modern history, the building collapse has directed the global attention toward the harsh working conditions of garment factories. Dangerous factories similar to the collapsed building in Bangladesh continue to serve major retailers from around the world.

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