Dhaka, April 25 (IANS) The toll in the building collapse on the outskirts of this Bangladesh capital went up to 191 Thursday as rescuers pulled out more bodies from under the rubble while feverishly responding to pitiful cries for help from those still trapped.
The building, “Rana Plaza”, collapsed around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday and since then rescuers have been desperately trying to reach those still buried under the debris.
Fire Services director Mahbubur Rahman said 1,600 people have so far been rescued. Most of the rescued people were injured and were rushed to the hospitals, he said.
Officials say the rescue operation in the building which housed four garment factories, a bank’s branch and hundreds of shops has been continuing without any break since Wednesday morning, reported Xinhua.
A girl was rescued from the building by cutting her hand that was trapped under the wreckage.
Survivors are still pleading for help as an overpowering stench of dead bodies and dust enveloped the area.
“A pillar has fallen over me. Please someone save me. Cut my hands to free me,” Daily Star qouted Aftab, a trapped man, as saying in a heart-wrenching tone.
He said there are three more people near him who are alive.
Daily Star reported that the toll reached 191 Thursday.
As many as 49 bodies were pulled out of the pile of concrete slabs, bricks, and twisted iron of what once was a building on Thursday, a day after 142 bodies were retrieved.
All the bodies were recovered from the third, fourth and fifth floors of the building.
On Thursday, there was some cheer as three people were pulled out of the debris alive.
Earlier, more than 1,200 injured people were rescued and removed to hospitals.
Rescuers have seen 25 people were alive but trapped inside the building.
One of those who was trapped urged rescuers to cut his legs which were stuck under a fallen pillar.
The rescuers said they could hear the screams of trapped people.
Rescued workers recalled that Tuesday morning, cracks developed on some pillars and a few floors of the building, causing panic among the people working there.
They rushed out of the building and some even got injured in the melee, said a number of garment workers and locals cited by the daily.
The police visited the building that day and asked building authorities not to open the eight-storey structure to people.
But the warnings and instructions were ignored.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said that factories housed in the building employed a total of 3,122 workers.