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rescue effort

A woman, named Reshma, has been pulled alive from the ruins of a building that collapsed in a suburb of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, 17 days ago.

The head of the fire service earlier said Reshma had been found in the remains of the second floor of the eight-storey Rana Plaza.

Reshma had no serious injuries and had been talking with rescuers, he added.

The dramatic news came after the army said more than 1,000 people were now known to have died in the disaster.

Reshma has been found in the remains of the second floor of the eight-storey Rana Plaza in Dhaka

Reshma has been found in the remains of the second floor of the eight-storey Rana Plaza in Dhaka

The death toll is expected to keep climbing, as work crews using heavy machinery have begun removing rubble from the worst-damaged areas.

On Friday afternoon, army officers ordered workers to stop clearing the site when Reshma’s cries were heard. Officers immediately ordered workers to stop clearing the site.

Detection equipment was sent in and they saw a woman waving her hand. She shouted “I’m still here” and said her name was Reshma.

Within minutes, hundreds of soldiers and firefighters rushed to the scene to help clear the rubble.

Cutting and drilling equipment was brought in to get through iron rods and debris. Not long afterwards, she was pulled from the rubble and the crowd erupted in cheers.

Not long afterwards, rescuers pulled her from the rubble. Reshma has been taken to a military hospital.

Rescuers said it was possible that the woman survived because of the large quantities of oxygen and water that were pumped into the ruins in the early stages of the rescue effort.

Rescue teams in China are struggling to reach survivors of a powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake that killed 203 and injured some 11,500 in remote hill villages in Sichuan province.

Emergency workers dressed in bright orange uniforms were making their way to remote areas on foot after roads were blocked by landslides.

Soldiers worked all night to search villages and treat the injured, while local people slept in shelters or cars.

Among the injured were 960 people who were seriously wounded.

Chinese PM Li Keqiang is overseeing relief efforts, and told reporters the rescue effort was “our first duty”.

Rescue teams in China are struggling to reach survivors of 6.6-magnitude earthquake that killed 203 and injured some 11,500 in Sichuan province

Rescue teams in China are struggling to reach survivors of 6.6-magnitude earthquake that killed 203 and injured some 11,500 in Sichuan province

Li Keqiang, who arrived on Saturday afternoon by helicopter to direct rescue efforts, visited hospitals and tents, and climbed on a pile of rubble to view the devastation.

Villages close to the epicentre in Lushan county were left in ruins.

A number of aftershocks followed the quake, which struck at 08:02 local time on Saturday.

“It was as if the mountain was alive,” a 68-year-old woman with a broken arm, who had lost her home, told AFP news agency.

China has received offers of help from countries including Japan, which is currently embroiled in a territorial dispute with Beijing over an island grouping in the East China Sea.

Beijing said overseas help was not needed at the moment, but added that it would contact Tokyo if that changed.

Chen Yong, the vice-director of the Ya’an city government earthquake response office, said the death toll may not rise much more.

“We understand the situation in most areas. Most of the casualties have been reported,” he said.

“In some remote mountain areas, it is possible that we don’t fully understand the situation.”

Ambulances, fire engines and military lorries piled high with supplies were waiting in long lines along blocked roads in the province on Sunday.

Correspondents say the hill villages, where farmers grow rice, vegetables and corn on terraced plots, were hit the hardest.

Kevin Xia of the Red Cross said: “Supplies have had difficulty getting into the region because of the traffic jams. Most of our supplies are still on the way.”

In Longmen village in Baoxing county nearly all the buildings were destroyed, officials said.

Rescuers were forced to dynamite boulders that had fallen across some roads, while overnight rain slowed rescue work.

A military vehicle carrying 17 soldiers came off the road, killing one soldier and injuring others.

Tens of thousands of people spent the night in tents or cars, unable to return home or too afraid to go back because of the aftershocks.

Sichuan province was devastated by a massive quake five years ago. Tens of thousands of people were killed and five million lost their homes.

Many of the collapsed buildings were schools and nurseries, leading to widespread criticism of local government’s planning policies.

However, Chen Yong said that this had not happened this time.

“The Chinese government has put a lot of money into building schools and hospitals. I can guarantee that no schools collapsed,” he said.

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 Jeff Blackburn was driving his garbage truck on his regular route in Seattle when he saw a woman jogging with a baby in a pram, TV network Komo 4 reports.

Scroll down for video

The mother turned the pram sideways at the top of a hill and moved away to talk to some other women when the stroller took off, he said.

“She was on a hill and almost immediately when she turned the corner the stroller started to turn and roll down the hill,” Mr Blackburn said.

“So I started honking the horn and speeding up so I could catch up to it before it got to the intersection, because at the bottom of the hill was a busy intersection with stop signs.” 


Blackburn acted quickly to avert disaster. He honked the horn of his truck repeatedly, attracting the attention of a FedEx truck that stopped in time. Quick thinking, he used his big truck to block traffic so the intersection was free for the stroller to roll across safely.


He then jumped out of his truck and ran across the road just in time to stop the stroller as it bumped over a curb.


He told KOMO4: “When I got to the bottom, I hit the brake, got out of the truck and tried to grab it. Luckily when I was honking the horn, a FedEx truck was going through the intersection and stopped because he heard the horn honking.”


The video shows a woman giving a helping hand with the rescue effort.


The boy was rescued unhurt and and it seems he had enjoyed the roll down the hill. Blackburn told KOMO4: “He seemed to be having a great time rolling down the hill… he seemed to enjoy it.”


The frantic woman arrived seconds later.


“She came running in — she was freaked out and was shaking and… I don’t even think she said anything, she just grabbed the kid and ran away,” Blackburn said. “She was just really, really shook up.”


He says he was in the right place at the right time because the FedEx truck going through the intersection would likely have never seen the stroller had it not been for all the horn honking.


Blackburn was asked if he had seen anything before in the three years he’s been on the route.

“No, this is the first. People usually hold on to their children,” he laughed.