Dubbed the miracle girl in Bangladesh, Reshma Begum was pulled from the rubble of the Rana Plaza factory building in Dhaka 17 days after it collapsed.
The last survivor has been speaking about her fight for life buried beneath the eight storeys of the collapsed garment factory. “There was a man beside me, he was telling me ‘sister, save me,’” she said.
“I said, ‘How can I save you, I am also dying?‘ Then he was asking me for water. I was searching in the darkness. I did not find anything, then that man died.”
Later wrenching a metal stick from her sewing machine, 19-year old Reshma dug through the debris to find some biscuits and water. Thinking she would never make it out alive, she recalled the moment she was finally found.
“When I saw the light I shouted. I shouted: ‘Save me brother.’ They heard me. Then I thought how can I go outside without (wearing some clothes), I’m not a man. I was trying to find a solution. It was all dark inside.
“A brother among the rescuers gave me a torch and told me to search inside (for clothes). I searched with the torch and found a shirt. I wore that,” she continued.
“I was always calling Allah, Allah, please save me.”
Last Friday was a moment of celebration as Reshma surfaced from the wreckage of the building. She has vowed never to step foot in another garment factory.
The death toll in the disaster stands at 1,127, making it the country’s worst industrial accident.