x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Woman pulled from rubble one bright spot in Bangladesh

The rescue of a woman from Bangladesh's factory rubble can only sharpen the pain of the thousands who lost kinfolk and friends in the disaster. But it is uplifting news all the same.

It is hard to comprehend the horror that befell Bangladesh on April 24. Since that day's collapse of a crowded garment-factory building near Dhaka, the known death toll has been steadily climbing - and has now passed 1,000 - as work crews continue to find bodies.

But Friday they found something else - a survivor. A woman named Reshma was pulled out of the rubble alive, having survived both the original disaster and 17 days trapped in a basement afterwards.

Astonishingly, she was in good condition. Doctors said her vital organs were still functioning properly, and that she was out of danger. She was even able to give interviews to the media from her hospital bed soon after her liberation.

Reshma had been stuck in a prayer room beneath the ill-fated building, and lived through the first 15 days of her 17-day ordeal by eating dried food stored there. "The last two days I had nothing but water," she told the BBC.

Her rescue can only sharpen the pain of the thousands who lost kinfolk and friends in the disaster. But it is uplifting news all the same. This is one of those rare and extraordinary tales of survival that gives us all reason to believe that we must never give up hope.