They risk life for humanity | The Daily Star
12:29 AM, April 25, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:35 AM, April 25, 2013

They risk life for humanity

They were pretty ordinary people but took up the heroic job of rescuing those who got trapped inside the broken-down nine-storey building in Savar on the outskirts of the capital yesterday.
Just after the building collapsed around 8:45am, local people and relatives of those who were inside -- dead or alive -- rushed to the site. They did whatever they could do to bring the victims out, at times putting their lives at risk of being killed in a further collapse of the yet-standing pillars and walls.
To gather momentum into the rescue operations, they were chanting "Hurry up" and "Speed up rescue operations, save the people." Volunteer rescuers went inside the rubble, removing bricks and pillars and breaking through walls. They created passages to carry the victims out to safety.
Through holes in the concrete, the volunteers were also supplying water and food to those trapped inside.
When rescuers were hammering away at the walls to get inside, the unstable structure seemed to be wobbling at the resonance.  At any point the walls could have fallen upon the rescuers themselves.
After a while, the fire brigade joined the rescue operations. Later, the Rapid Action Battalion and army came in.
Mahbub and his friends Mozammel, both rickshaw pullers, entered the building with a hammer and torch.
"A huge number of people are trapped. How can we just be onlookers? We will work as long as we can," said Mahbub.
A few steps inside, somebody was heard shouting, “Hey, brother, give me a torch. Hurry up, there's someone crying in the dark.”
It was Sobuj, a garment worker of nearby PRZ fashion, who had rushed there just after he heard of the fatal accident; it might be because he felt a connection with those who had been working in five garment factories in the building at the time of the collapse.
And that reflected when he said, "I came here to save my colleagues though I know the rooftop may cave in on me anytime."
"I believe my birth has had some meaning as I have saved the ill-fated people," said Mohammad Niaz, a scrap metal seller, who recovered three dead bodies and rescued 17 injured.
Appreciating the volunteers, a fire brigade official said, “The rescuers did a very risky thing. Their lives were at risk and also any mishap could kill or further injure the people inside.”
However, the fire brigade officials did not stop the rescuers because some of them had their family members inside, he added.
One staircase in the rear of the building was almost cleared with the help of local people.
Some were frantically looking for their loved ones but the majority were driven to the site by their conscience.  Some people were also seen clearing the streets that lead to the accident spot for ambulances and external help.

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