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Testimony of Rebeka, severely injured in Rana Building collapse

May, 02 2013 Share

 

Testimony

Rebeka, 22, lost her left leg and right foot
when the Rana Plaza Building Collapsed

Dhaka Orthopedic Hospital, May 2, 2013

Rebeka worked for Ether Tex factory in Rana Plaza.  She was trapped under the rubble with a concrete beam crushing her legs for 31.5 hours.

 

"My name is Rebeka, I am 22 years old.  I have worked for three years in the Ether Tex factory as a senior sewing machine operator.  I am married with no children.  I came to Dhaka from the Fulbari Sub-district of Dinajpur in the North Bengal region in order to work in a garment factory to make a living for my family.

"The factory is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00, 9:00 or 10:00 p.m.  We were forced to work seven days a week in April, including all Fridays, until the factory collapsed on April 24.  There was a lot of pressure in April and we were told we had to work every day in April and May.   The company planned to send a shipment in May and as a result we were forced to work in an unsafe building.  To them, producing the garments is more important than our lives.

"The factory was located on the 5th floor of the Rana Plaza building.  The day before the accident, we refused to go into the building, as big cracks were found in the walls.  The following morning, our bosses and Sohel Rana forced us to work, saying that they would not pay our wages for the month of April if we did not go into work.  They also hired thugs to terrorize us into going to work.

"We began work at 8:00 a.m. on the 24th.  After some time the electricity went out.  The mechanic switched on the generator.  At around 8:45 the whole building bent to the back side and fell apart.  In a few seconds, the building collapsed.  I do not know what happened then.  After some time, I saw a concrete beam on top of both my legs.  Groaning in extreme pain, I started weeping and calling out to Allah to rescue me immediately.  I turned on my cell phone and called my elder brother, begging him to rescue me.

"It was like a dark cave inside the collapsed rubble.  The concrete beam was so heavy that I could not move my legs.  My legs were trapped.  I spent a day and a half in hell.  My brother and local people rescued me at 4:30 p.m. on April 25 and immediately took me to Savar Hospital.

"As my legs were fractured and crushed, they wanted to amputate both my legs.  My relatives disagreed with the local doctor and instead brought me to the Orthopedic Hospital in Dhaka on April 26.  The doctor advised that my legs be amputated to save my life as my fractures were infected.

"I had to agree with the doctor to cut my legs.  [Her entire left leg was amputated along with her right foot.]  They operated on the 27th.  I could not describe to you how great the pain was.  The doctor gave me sedatives.

"When I sleep, I dream that the building is falling on me again, that I'm crushed and dead.  I always see that concrete pillar falling on me and crushing me. 

"For the rest of my life I will be severely handicapped.  My life is over.  The factory owner has ruined our lives.  It would have been far better to die in the building collapse then having to live such a sad life.  What is waiting for me, for the rest of my life... Sympathy.  Pity.  Begging.  I hate this.  We want to work for a living, not to beg.  My husband and relatives may consider me a burden.  What can I do then?  Wouldn't it be better to die than to be crippled for life?"

 

 

Dhaka Orthopedic Hospital posted names, age and diagnosis of victims of the factory collapse. Rebeka is at bed number 52 on the list. Many workers had amputations and other severe injuries.

Bed# Name Age Diagnoses & Conditions
 43  Shirin  20  Fracture pelvis
 44  Hamida  19  Soft tissue injury, right thigh and scalp injury
 45  Mrs. Morium  28  Fracture dislocation L3 vertegra and incomplete paraplegia
 46  Shapla  18  Open fracture, distal humerus, open fracture, tibia/fibula
 47  Rokshana  22  Open lisfranc; fracture dislocation, mangled foot. (Amputation of right foot done)
 48  Morlom  24  Right elbow amputee
 49  Lucky 32  Impending compartment fasciotomy, left forearm
 50  Shilpi  16  Compartment syndrome, left upper limb fasciotomy acut
 51  Rebeka  20  Left above knee amputation done
 52  Suffa  45  Fracture L1 vertebra; no neurological deficit
 53  Mukta (Rahimi)  20  Scalp Injury
 54    18  Open bimalleolar fracture (R) G-IIIA and degloving Injury left leg
 55  Afroza  30  Fracture t/f [Not legible.]
 56  Ayesha  18  Closed fracture, fibula
 57  Moriam  35  Open fracture, tibia/fibula (Lt) [Not legible.]

 

Bed# Name Age Diagnoses & Conditions
74   18 Impending compartment syndrome, left forearm
75 Firoza 18 Colles Fracture (right) & soft tissue injury, left leg
76 Maleka 40 Compression fracture L2 vertebra, acetabular fracture (right) undisplaced
77 Sathi 17  Cut injury upper ant. aspect of right leg & back of right

 

Bed# Name Age Diagnoses & Conditions
78 Rehana 20 Open fracture, distal tibia/fibula, G-IIIC followed below knee amputation
79   20  Compartment syndrome right hand, fasciotomy done
80   19  Soft tissue injury, both lower limb
81   35  Closed fracture, shaft of humerus (RT)

 

 

 

More updates, news and photos on Bangladesh Rana Plaza factory collapse