Bangladesh Factory Rescuer Saved Girl By Cutting Off Her Hand

Bangladesh building collapse

Didar Hussain arrived on Wednesday for what he expected to be a normal shift making clothes for the Western high street, but by last night he was being praised for his efforts in rescuing 30 people from the scene of Bangladesh’s worst industrial accident.

At one point he had to amputate the hand of a girl, Aanna Akhtar, to save her from the wreckage of the Rana Plaza, an eight-storey Dhaka factory building which collapsed, killing more than 300.

Akhtar told The Daily Telegraph from her hospital bed that she knows she is one of the lucky ones.

She said she had started a job three weeks ago making trouser pockets on the sixth floor, where New Wave Style Ltd makes cheap clothes for chain stores such as Primark and Bonmarche. “Many of the other people were able to escape,” she said. “The men who left said that they would get someone to help me, but no one came.”

In the morning, as her hopes began to fade, she heard Hussain calling out. Hussain, 28, had been working at the Al Muslim factory opposite when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. Over the next nine hours, he pulled 17 men to safety and retrieved four of the dead, he said. It was not until the following morning that he heard Aanna’s cries.

“I tried to see whether it was possible to rescue her without chopping off her hand, by moving the machinery, but I was scared that if I moved any of the machinery the roof may collapse further,” he said. “So I told her that the only way I can get you out is to chop off your hand and she agreed.”

He went back outside to ask a doctor, who was too afraid to enter the rubble, for his advice. He returned with a syringe and a surgical knife, he said, and carried out the life-saving surgery. [Daily Telegraph]