Rana Plaza Project Day One

15 May 13

Posted at 4:52

Unfortunately technology has defeated me so I am currently unable to upload images. So just a text update . Today I started by visiting a hospital to meet and photograph injured survivors. I met many men and women with limb and spinal injuries. Many a who had undergone amputations. The most severely injured appear to have been on the fifth floor. One man I met was trapped for three days. I interviewed the hospital director, a proud man who spoke impressively how his staff have coped and will continue to cope for many months in rehabilitating the many injured. 

I then visited the site of the Rana Plaza building. It was handed over to the civilian authorities from the army yesterday. It is not possible that there are any more bodies to be recovered but there are still over 100 , some reports say 500, missing. I met people with missing relatives at the site still praying that their loved ones bodies will be found. They won't! 

Next I visited an area where many garment workers and their families live in houses constructed of corrugated iron. Again I met survivors less severely injured and I met bereaved families and again families with missing relatives.

I visited the school where ambulances took the deceased as they were recovered. Where relatives came to identify and take away their dead. A pile of coffins awaits more deceased but none will be found. Those unclaimed had DNA taken and were buried. According to their relgion Muslims should be buried within 24 hours of death when possible.

I expect many of those 'missing' have in fact been buried and in time through DNA will be identified.

I spent a long time with the military who have taken Reshma, the girl who was trapped for 17 days, to their hospital. After getting in touch with a Colonel at the military HQ who is the person who could grant me permission to meet and photograph her he advised me of the paperwork he would require to make a decision. He required it to be hand delivered to him and he said he would look positively on it. However the documents he requires will take me a day or two to compile and then   he will wish to deliberate. Well I fly home on Sunday so guess I will have to leave it this time. 

I visited a second hospital and met more survivors.

Tomorrow I am meeting the rescuers, civilian university students, the Red Crescent and the Fire Service. Then I will visit and photograph workers in a typical garment factory.

Today has been interesting in many ways it has also been very distressing at times. Retailers in the West must provide financial compensation to the thousands affected by this tragedy and must ensure that safety standards are improved urgently.

I will blog some images when I can get suitable Internet connections!