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Relatives still throng the collapse site

  • Published at 03:26 am May 19th, 2013
Relatives still throng the collapse site

A middle-aged father, looking for trace of his only daughter, held on to the barbed wire around the now empty lot where the eight-storey Rana Plaza used to stand.

“I have nobody here and I cannot tolerate this anymore. Please help me find the body of my daughter, Monira Khatun,” Md Munnaf Miah, breaking down in tears, told Dhaka Tribune on Saturday.

Munnaf, 54, has already found the dead bodies of his only son and daughter-in-law, who also worked at a garments factory inside the collapsed building that killed at least 1,127 people.

Even five days after the end of the rescue operation, a good number of family members of victims, who are still unaccounted for, continue to throng the building site, nearby Enam Medical College and Hospital and Adhar Chandra High School at Savar.

Holding photographs of their missing relatives, many cry and ask the Almighty for help. Most of them come in the morning and wait until nightfall, only hoping to find the corpses of their loved ones.

But those still searching for the missing find it hard to get fresh answers, as all information booths have been removed from the area.

“I have searched every possible place, including hospitals and morgues, but did not find my daughter. The authorities said they would announce at the site if they find any match to (buried) bodies through DNA tests. So I come here almost every day,” said Kashem Molla, who lost his daughter, Parvin Akhter.

Upozila Nirbahi Officer of Savar thana, Md Kamrul Hasan Molla, told Dhaka Tribune that authorities are working to figure out the number of victims still missing, and they have opened a control room at his office.

“We will evaluate all information on the missing, and hand it over to the relevant authorities,” the official said.

The Rana Plaza, which housed five factories, a shopping mall and a bank, collapsed on the morning of April 24, a day after cracks were discovered in the eight-storey building. Last Monday evening, the army-led rescue operation was officially called off after 20 days. Authorities then put up a barbed wire fence around the site, after removing all the rubble.

Some 2,434 were rescued alive _ 12 of whom died in hospital later, while 1,115 bodies were recovered from the ruins. Only two unclaimed corpses remain at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital Morgue. Other unidentified bodies have been buried at the Jurain graveyard after keeping DNA samples, but it will take at least three months to match them with relatives, experts said.