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Bangladesh factory collapse survivor rescued after 17 days


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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, called Begum in the hospital, and the rescued woman began crying on the phone, Suhrawardy said. She told Hasina: "I am fine, please pray for me," he said.

Hasina, whose government has come under criticism for its lax oversight over the powerful garment industry, was racing to the hospital by helicopter to meet her, and congratulated the rescuers, officials said.

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"This is an unbelievable feat," Hasina was quoted as saying by her assistant, Mahbubul Haque Shakil.

Begum lived in a rented house in this Dhaka suburb with her sister, who worked at a different garment factory

The death toll from the disaster soared past 1,000 Friday, with officials confirming that 1,045 bodies had been recovered from the rubble of the fallen building, which had housed five garment factories employing thousands of workers.

The disaster has raised alarm about the often deadly working conditions in Bangladesh’s $20 billion garment industry, which provides clothing for major retailers around the globe.

Brig. Gen. Mohammed Siddiqul Alam Shikder, an army official overseeing the recovery work, said the bodies being recovered were badly decomposed and identification was difficult.

"We are working carefully," he said. "If we get any ID card or mobile phone with them, we can still identify them. Our sincere effort is to at least hand over the bodies to the families."

Brig. Gen. Azmal Kabir, a top official of the military’s engineering section, said more than half of the estimated 7,000 tons of debris have been removed from the site but he did not know when the work would be finished.

Officials say the owner of Rana Plaza illegally added three floors and allowed the garment factories to install heavy machines and generators, even though the structure was not designed to support such equipment.


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The owner and eight other people, including the owners of the garment factories, have been detained.

The chairman of Enam Medical College and Hospital, which took in many survivors after the collapse, told Channel 24 station that of the more than 1,700 people treated there, 75 remained with serious injuries.

The chairman, Enamur Rahhman, said survivors, many who had limbs amputated, are suffering from trauma and depression.



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