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Dhaka Tribune

Frustration boils over for waiting relatives

Update : 30 Apr 2013, 05:31 PM

Despair and frustration among relatives waiting is growing, as second phase of the rescue operation using heavy equipment is yet to find the hundreds of people still missing in the Savar tragedy.

Today, a week into the building collapse, rescuers pulled three more bodies from the rubble and a worker being treated at a hospital died, bringing the total number of deaths to 388 at 8:30pm, when this report was filed.

But for many relatives still awaiting news of loved ones, the operation was running at a worryingly slow pace.

When it was judged there was no hope left of finding any more survivors, heavy machineries were brought in to clear the mounds of mangled concrete and steel, which infuriated relatives alleging bodies of victims were being concealed.

Since the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar on April 24, 2,436 people have been rescued alive, out of them 943 have been admitted to various hospitals, rescuers said. Thirty dead bodies have been sent to the morgue at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) and 22 bodies to Suhrawardy Hospital.

Authorities and members of organisations working at the site have different estimates for the number of people missing. Major General Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy said, “It was believed 3,200 workers were in the building and out of them 2,818 were found either dead or alive in the ruins.” According to this statement 382 people are still unaccounted for.

He added: “There might be no more workers in the rubble as some might not have come to work on April 24 due to the strike.” He denied allegation bodies are being concealed, stating: “It is very painful people might think this way. We are risking our lives to rescue people and such ideas will break the mental strength of those involved.”

Eyewitnesses said people have been stopping vehicles carrying debris from the collapse site in different spots to check for bodies. The debris is being taken to three separate sites where it will be dumped. “What's the use of using heavy equipment if they cannot find the dead bodies?” Nazrul Islam, a grief stricken father, told the Dhaka Tribune.

Like many others, Nazrul has been waiting on the streets near the collapsed building hoping for information about his son, who worked in one of the garment factories in the building. 

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