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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

'I was trapped in the rubble for five days'

Update : 30 Apr 2013, 04:58 AM

“Dozens of people around me were dying. I was also preparing to die,” said QAM Sadique, the second last survivor to have been pulled out from under the debris of the collapsed Rana Plaza. 25-year-old Sadique, who was a quality controller for New Wave Bottoms, survived for five days under the rubble.

“After the third day I lost all hope of surviving,” Sadique, who is under treatment at the Combined Military Hospital at Savar Cantonment, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. He said several times he heard the voices of rescuers around him but they did not respond to his shouts.

Sadique said the roof was hanging a few feet over him and sometimes he found it narrowing. All exits were blocked. “I became mentally ill, since there were so many rescuers around me from the very first day but I couldn’t draw their attention,” he said.

Sadique says, while lying under the rubble, he frequently thought of his mother’s face, his boyhood, his schools, friends and other people in his life. “I spoke frequently to my mother in my imagination,” he said.

Rescuers recovered 2,817 people and 381 bodies, cutting inch-by-inch into the wreckage.

Describing the moment of the collapse, Sadique said: “It was around 9am. I had just started my work. The power went off and the building collapsed. I saw the entire building almost sandwiched around me and thick dust all around. It was suffocating.” As the day wore on, Sadique thought his heart would stop for want of oxygen. Fortunately rescuers pumped in oxygen. 

 “Allah sent water on Friday,” he said, describing how he had found three bottles of water on the ground on the third day.

On the fifth day he suddenly saw a TV reporter near him. He asked the reporter to rescue him.

“I will never forget this memory,” he said. “Sometimes I fainted, sometimes I slept, and at other times I looked at the time on my two mobile phones,” he said.

Sadique was pulled out by a group of civilian rescuers around 12:45pm from under the rubble on the third floor. He says all he wants now is to go home soon. Doctors say he has not suffered any serious injury.

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