It is 17 days since an eight story building in Savar, Dhaka Bangladesh collapsed, trapping and killing many. The death toll has now passed the 1,000 mark and tomorrow there are plans to bring in heavy machinery and flatten the site. Friday though there is news that a woman has been pulled alive from the ruins.
Rescuers heard her pleas of "please save me" and they managed to locate and free her from the second floor of the building. Amazingly she is said to be in fair health. Whether her discovery will alter plans to level the ruins is not known.
There comes a time when such action is necessary. In Dhaka it is now more than that; it is essential that clearing up begins as the stench from rotting bodies could signal an impending health disaster. The heavy machinery will hopefully locate and reveal the dead so that they can be properly buried.
It is significant that most of the dead, injured or missing were women. It was women working in the factories, making cheap goods for sale in the West. This means that children have been orphaned and families devastated.
The woman pulled out of the ruins today was found as soldiers were reported to have been preparing to break through a large concrete slab. According to the BBC "As we were clearing rubble, we called out [to see] if anyone was alive," one unnamed rescuer told local TV. "Then we heard her saying: 'Please save me, please save me.'"
Officers immediately ordered workers operating heavy machinery to stop.
Video and audio detection equipment was used to locate her exact position and rescuers saw a woman waving her hand. She shouted "I'm still here" and said her name was Reshma.
Within minutes, hundreds of soldiers and firefighters rushed to the scene to help clear the rubble, says the BBC's Akbar Hossain in Dhaka."
One life unexpectedly saved but that does not diminish the feat. Kudos to those who have been working endlessly to free survivors and the injured and will now move on to recover the dead.