Miracle survivor of Dhaka building collapse 'had already been rescued'


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The Independent Online

Bangladesh officials have rejected claims that the seemingly miraculous rescue of Reshma Begum – the young woman pulled from the garment factory collapse in May after 17 days under the rubble – was a hoax.

The factory at Rana Plaza in Savar, outside the capital Dhaka, collapsed on 24 April, killing more than 1100 people. Ms Begum managed to escape with minor injuries.

But a colleague, named as Enamul, claimed that Ms Begum walked away from the incident with him on 24 April. He said she went with him to Enam Medical College Hospital, but disappeared two days later. He said the next time he saw her, she was being dragged from the rubble.

“Enamul cannot be contacted ever since we broke the news last week,” Shishir Abdullah, a reporter with the newspaper Amar Desh, which first reported the claims, told The Independent. However, he insists there are “many questions that the authorities have not answered”. The newspaper says Ms Begum’s sister and landlady have confirmed his story.

Fire service director Major Mohammad Mahboob rejected the claims. “We had rescued Reshma from under the rubble of Rana Plaza on 10 May,” he said. “Although we have seen the reports... we do not want to comment about their integrity. But we did rescue Reshma.”