U.S. News

05.10.13

The Bangladesh Factory Collapse Survivor and More Miraculous Rescues (VIDEO)

In Bangladesh Friday, rescuers pulled a living woman from the rubble of a factory that had collapsed 17 days earlier. From the Chilean miners to ‘Baby Jessica,’ The Daily Beast rounds up more miraculous rescues.

Bangladesh Building Collapse - 2013

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With more than 1,000 people dead, the eight-story garment factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh is an almost unparalleled tragedy. But Friday, 17 days after the disaster, a miracle emerged from the rubble. As onlookers cheered, workers pulled a survivor from the wreckage. Identified only as “Reshma,” the woman is in good condition after reportedly surviving on little more than water and dried fruit.

Chile Caved-In Mine - 2010

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The record for longest time being trapped goes to the 33 copper-gold miners who spent two months below the Chilean desert after a cave-in. The men were confined more than 700 feet underground and managed to survive for 69 grueling days by receiving provisions (and even television) from the surface. The world watched as multiple rescue attempts failed, until finally, on October 13th, all of 'Los 33' were lifted into the light in a capsule thin enough to penetrate the narrow fissure.

Baby Jessica Saved from Well - 1987

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The nursery-rhyme myth became a Texas mother’s nightmare reality on October 14, 1987, when her 18-month-old daughter became lodged 22 feet down an 8-inch-wide well. Camera crews rushed to the backyard, where firefighters spent 58 hours trying to pull ‘Baby Jessica’ out. The thrilling footage of Jessica’s rescue on October 16th became an iconic video in modern American history.

Pennsylvania Flooded Mine - 2002

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On July 24th, 2002, the Quecreek Mine in Somerset County, Pennsylvania started flooding, leaving nine of the 18 workers trapped inside. As the country waited with baited breath, national media covered the mission to rescue the miners, stuck 240 feet underground. After 78 hours, the story culminated in a happy ending, when they were successfully evacuated.

China Flooded Mine - 2010

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China experienced its own flooded-mine rescue expedition on March 28th, 2010, when the Wangjialing coal mine was destroyed by a deluge. Although 100 workers reportedly escaped immediately, another 153 remained trapped. More than a week later, an estimated 115 survivors were rescued, while 23 people were confirmed dead. Reports vary on the fate of the others, but it is generally believed that the conditions became too hostile for survival.

Turkey Earthquake - 2011

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In the aftermath of Turkey’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake—the largest in 10 years—rescue workers scoured the immense rubble for survivors. After several days of being trapped beneath collapsed buildings, an infant, a young man, and a young woman were among those miraculously saved from the devastation, which had a death toll of 88.

Tasmania Collapsed Mine - 2006

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The earthquake wasn’t big, barely climbing past 2.0 on the Richter Scale, but it was enough to create a calamity in Beaconsfield, Tasmania, Australia. On April 25, 2006, the tremor triggered a rockfall inside a gold mine, and three of the 17 miners were unable to escape. Ultimately, two of them survived, after a harrowing two-week ordeal, 3,000 feet underground.