Building collapse in Dhaka: volunteers involved in search and rescue

Published: 25 April 2013 21:34 CET
Authorities say thousands were trapped or injured in the collapse.
Authorities say thousands were buried or injured when the building collapsed.

By Maherin Ahmed, IFRC

On 24 April at 9am, an eight-storey building collapsed in Savar, 25 kilometers north of the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka. The building housed several garment factories, a bank and several shops. At least 240 people have died, while hundreds more are thought to be trapped under the rubble. Over 2,000 injured people have been rescued and were provided with immediate basic first aid or transfered transferred to nearby hospitals including Combined Military Hospital, for medical attention. Out of the 2,000 injured, Anam Medical College Hospital has released 800 patients.

The Bangladesh Army, Navy, Fire Brigade and Civil Defense, Border Guard Bangladesh and local police have been involved in the rescue and evacuation operation. Authorities said that the number of bystanders flocking to the area is slowing down rescue operations.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society was among the first responders on the scene. 100 trained volunteers are on the ground on a rotation providing search and rescue, basic first aid and safe drinking water. The organization has also established a mobile medical team assisting the wounded. Over 150 people have been treated.

The Red Crescent Society ambulance service has transported wounded people to various hospitals, and the organization is also helping with the management of dead bodies.

Restoration of Family Link (RFL) volunteers provided mobile phone services for the injured to connect with their families and relatives, and are also compiling lists of the missing, injured and dead.

Tsehayou Seyoum, country representative for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said: “We have provided 100 hand and head flashlights for rescue workers, as well as generator-operated flashlights  and medical supplies to the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society’s medical team. We are working together to fill any gap identified by the Ministry of Disaster Management, as and when such support becomes necessary.”

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