Dogs used to locate bodies

Rescuers are using trained dogs to recover dead bodies from the debris of a high-rise collapse in Savar near the capital Dhaka.

Shahidul Islam and Faijul
Published : 30 April 2013, 02:58 AM
Updated : 30 April 2013, 07:13 AM

The idea came from Maj Gen Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy of the Bangladesh Army's 9th Infantry Division at a media briefing on Tuesday.

He said the army had two such trained dogs and that they would suggest the government to use them.

However, army personnel were seen using dogs to locate bodies at the wreckage site soon after the press conference ended.

Nine-storied Rana Plaza collapsed on Apr 24 killing nearly 400 people. Over 1,000 are still missing.

The wreckage on the front side of the collapsed building has been removed. Relatives of those still missing claim there are hundreds of dead bodies under the rubble.

Several rescued garment workers have also claimed there are numerous bodies.

A list of the missing, prepared by police, contains names of nearly 1,300 people. The law keepers say the number might slightly come down since they suspect names were enlisted several times.

Maj Gen Suhrawardy said they did not have the precise number of the missing and requested the journalists not to publicise the number until a correct figure was obtained.

He requested the relatives of the missing to be patient. “Our sympathies are with you, please be patient. We will not call off our search until there is one single body left,” he said.

He said a list of the bodies and those undergoing treatment would be hung at the information centre and the media would be notified of it.

Suhrawardy informed they had so far pulled out 2,818 persons from the debris. Of them, 385 were dead.

He skirted a directly reply when asked how the number of those alive was determined.

“We will be able to determine the number of the missing after making a list of the living, dead and the injured,” he said.

The army official said they had recovered five dead bodies on the seventh day of the accident.

He defended the slow pace of the rescue work saying the concrete slabs were being removed one by one and said many were stopping the vehicles carrying concretes to dump them at the Bongshi River in search of bodies.

“[We’d like to tell them that] we are continuing the rescue work without caring for our lives. Please assist us. We want to hand over the last body to its relatives,” he added.

Shuhrawardy said they had learnt 3,200 people used to work at the factories located in the building but added they did not get any precise list.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher