Monday, 20 May 2013

Great disasters - great escapes


With a death toll of more than 1,120, the fall of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh is now confirmed as the deadliest building collapse in modern history, but in the midst of terrible tragedy, there was an astonishing story of survival.

Nineteen year old Reshma Begum was pulled from the rubble alive after being trapped for 17 days.  Rescuers had spotted her waving an aluminium curtain rail.   Reshma had come to the big city from the countryside three years ago, and had been working at her factory in the Rana Plaza for less than a month when the block collapsed.  

Three years ago, a 24 year old man was dragged out of the remains of a hotel eleven days after the Haiti earthquake, and 17 days after the collapse of the Sampoong department store in Seoul, South Korea, in 1995, an 18 year old was found alive.

In 1906, nearly 1,100 miners were killed by an explosion in a colliery at Courrieres in France.   To the astonishment of rescue workers, 20 days later, a group of 13 survivors emerged.    They had kept themselves alive on food that miners took down the pit to eat during their breaks and by slaughtering a horse.
*My third video on Britain's 20 Worst Military Disasters is a story from Scotland -

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