Cries of amputees hang heavy at Bangladesh hospital

SAVAR, Bangladesh - The anguished cries of amputees echoed Friday across the Enam Medical College Hospital in a piercing reminder of the price paid by survivors of Bangladesh's deadliest industrial disaster.

A steady procession of ambulances has been arriving at the hospital on the outskirts of Dhaka since Wednesday's catastrophe, heralded by deafening sirens.

And with each arrival, a crowd of young medical students in their white aprons were on hand to stretcher the injured to emergency wards, flanked by nurses with blood bags.

Garment worker Laboni Akter was brought to the hospital in critical condition after rescuers cut off her left hand to free her from the rubble of the eight-storey building in Savar, around one kilometre (half a mile) from the hospital.

Writhing in pain, she lost consciousness briefly at the emergency ward from where she was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit where she talked to an AFP correspondent after her condition improved.

"My hand fell under a pillar after the building collapsed, as if we were in an earthquake. Three of us were trapped in a narrow air pocket for the two days without any food. I stayed awake, praying to Allah to save us," she said.

"Then one of my friends died and her body started to rot. Every minute felt like a day and I couldn't even move because of the position of my hand."

Doctor Hiralal Roy said that the 750-bed hospital was overwhelmed, treating more than 1,200 for the last two days.

The confirmed death toll from the disaster stood at 304 as of Friday afternoon.

Rana Plaza collapse
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: The Daily Star)
Garment workers trapped under rubble of collapsed Bangladesh building
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: Reuters) Story continues in the next page

1 2 
Become a fan on Facebook