- (Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Biraj
After being trapped for 17 days in the rubble left in the wake of a garment factory collapse, a woman was rescued alive in what has been described as nothing short of a miracle.
Reports indicate that the woman was found in a Muslim prayer room and attracted the attention of those clearing the debris and removing decomposing bodies by waving a metal pipe and calling out for help.
The woman was reported to have no major injuries and was thought to have been able to survive by drinking water that had been sprayed on the collapsed factory in the hours after the building came down. The room she was in was also described as a wide area that was able to partly shield her from the falling debris.
"She was fine, no injuries. She was just trapped. The space was wide," Lt. Col. Moyeen, an army official at the scene, told the Associated Press.
The removal of debris and bodies has been a daily task for hundreds of workers who have been at the scene of the collapse since April 24.
2,500 people were able to escape with their lives in the moments after the factory came crashing down, but no survivors have been found since April 28, dashing hopes that anyone else would be found alive.
The incident has sparked protests in and around the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka and calls from leading companies that more attention be paid to safe working conditions for thousands of garment industry workers.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was also overwhelmed with the news of a survivor.
"This is an unbelievable feat," she was quoted as saying by her assistant, Mahbubul Haque Shakil, as reported by BBC.
The most recent official count puts the death toll at 1,021. The number is expected to continue to rise as people remain unaccounted for.
The tragedy is one of the world's worst industrial accidents.