Bangladesh Army dismisses hoax factory rescue claim

A report published in a British tabloid claiming that rescue of a woman 17 days after Bangladesh`s worst industrial accident was a hoax has been dismissed by the Army as "totally untrue".

Dhaka: The miracle rescue of a woman worker 17 days after Bangladesh`s worst industrial accident in April has been branded as "stage managed" by a British tabloid, prompting the Army to dismiss the report as "totally untrue".

Pro-opposition daily `Amar Desh` first reported in its online version that 18-year-old Reshma Aktar`s rescue was hoax and the report subsequently appeared in British tabloid `Sunday Mirror`.

Reacting sharply to the report, a Bangladeshi Army spokesman rubbished the tabloid report published on June 30.

"We have called two separate a press conferences tomorrow to protest further the Sunday Mirror article which is totally untrue and misleading," he said.
Reshma was rescued from under tonnes of debris of an eight-story building 17 days after it collapsed, killing 1,129 people.

The Mirror report "mischievously" tried to question the "sacrifice, integrity, and humanity of the rescuers" as it appeared 50 days after they rescued the woman, he said in a statement.

It said Reshma was rescued in the presence of numerous television crews and other media and the tabloid risked traumatising her further as "she is still traumatised".

The Mirror quoted a male colleague of Reshma as saying that she had escaped the building with him on the day it collapsed in April and "we spent two days in hospital but then she vanished.

"The next time I saw her was on TV 17 days later," Mirror quoted her colleague as saying.

According to the report the colleague told the tabloid "they (rescuers) said it was a miracle. But it was a fake".
The Mirror said the two men who talked to its reporter went into hiding after making the comments but an Army official said the two men who were quoted in the report were expected to be present in tomorrow`s press briefing.

"The two colleagues of Reshma who were quoted in the report will give you their comments on the report during the first press briefing at the National Press Club," Army`s press relation director Shaheenul Islam said.

The private Enam Hospital, where most of the injured were first brought, meanwhile said Reshma was not among those hospitalised there as claimed by the British newspaper.

Officials said at least 176 people were still missing after 20 days of search operations. A total of 2,444 people were rescued alive in the country`s biggest ever salvage drill.