Savar rescue operation comes to end
Hard to believe the photo is not of a war-torn distant country where a car bomb had gone off. The photo is of the collapsed Rana Plaza in Savar after the army cleared out the basement of the ill-fated building and ended the rescue operations yesterday. Photo: Anisur Rahman
All the crying, shouting, roaring of machines fell silent yesterday 20 days into the rescue operation in the wreckage of the nine-storey Rana Plaza at Savar outside Dhaka.
The army that along with locals and fire brigade had rescued 2,438 people from the rubble and recovered 1,115 bodies declared the end of the operation through a press briefing around 8:30pm.
“We promised that we would continue our rescue mission till we found the last body. Now, there is no possibility of recovering more corpses at this point,” said Maj Gen Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy, general officer commanding (GOC) of the army's ninth infantry division.
According to a list prepared by the administration, at least 98 people remained missing, he said, adding that he hoped their relatives would find the bodies once the DNA tests were completed.
The death toll of the country's deadliest industrial disaster is 1,127, including the 12, who died while undergoing treatment at hospital.
As many as 234 unclaimed bodies have been buried in the capital's Jurain graveyard while another 59 unidentified bodies are still at Dhaka Medical College morgue.
The army has prepared a list of 1,000 garment workers who need to be given jobs, a list of amputated workers who need to be rehabilitated and employed, and a list of severely injured workers.
"Although our rescue mission has come to an end, our work will continue till the workers' treatment, rehabilitation and employment are ensured," said the GOC.
The army officially hands over the control of the site to the district administration at 6:00am today.
A milad mahfil will be held at 12:45pm at the site to mark the end of the rescue operation and to pray for the salvation of the departed souls and for immediate recovery of the wounded people.
The control room that was set up near the ruins of Rana Plaza will be moved to Savar Cantonment. It will be open every day from 8:00am to 2:00pm.
The army officer also mentioned that Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association would open an information cell at the Upazila Parishad Office to answer the queries of workers and their relatives.