Saturday, April 13, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

'I talked to two buried survivors'

Update : 27 Apr 2013, 04:45 AM

I jostled through the crowd to the adjacent building on the right of Rana Plaza that caved in on Wednesday.I found a handful of army officers who said they heard sounds of trapped people from under the rubble.

But they could not get in as the two walls of Rana Plaza and the building on its right were only inches apart;no human figure could get through that crevice.

There were some ordinary people along with army personnel boring a hole in the wall of the adjacent building. When done, they began to bore another hole in the wall of the collapsed building.

It was taking a while as the equipment, which they were working with,was of poor standard. I too heard some faint cries begging help for rescue.

One army officer, of the rank of captainI figured, went inside along with another rescue team member.

The army officer, when he came to know that I am a journalist, asked me if I wanted to get in. Immediately I took up the offer. It was a sort of rabbit hole one cannot walk through. One of them brought a plank of wood; I was laid on it and pushed through it.

As I entered I was plunged into a thick darkness; I could only see the things around me with the help of a flashlight; hundreds of thoughts raced through my mind: “Am I going down the labyrinth of hell? Is it a point of no return?”

The stench of decomposed bodies wafted in; a feeling of nausea came over me; I could see nothing, only the concrete jumble all around. I was taking snaps of the hell on this very earth lying on a stretcher like structure.

There was an army officer sitting on the twisted and tangled wreckage of slabs, concrete, ceiling beams and objects like that.

Faint voices of two survivors - Rashed from Dinajpur and KaluMiah from Gaibandha- from inside the wreckage were heard:“Please take us out; don’t leave us here; if you go we will die.”

A celling beam separated the army officer and the two survivors. They said there were three of them;by the time the rescue team reached them one had already died.

Rescue team members were drilling through the beam to reach the other side to bring them out. I left the place hoping they would be rescued soon; but by the time I had experiencedhell on earth.

The two men were just a beam away from being rescued. What about the others?  



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