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Jalandhar factory collapse: Miracle survivor found after 3 days


Jyoti Kamal,CNN-IBN
Apr 18, 2012 at 10:19pm IST

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Jalandhar: It has been 72 hours since the factory building collapse in Jalandhar. Ten people have died, 61 people have been rescued and over 90 people are still believed to be trapped inside. While hopes of finding survivors are now dimming, one man was pulled out of the rubble alive on Wednesday.

Pachho Devi, whose 17-year-old son died pinned under a heavy beam at the collapsed factory, has little tears left after two days of crying. But she is seething with anger at the factory officials, who she alleges snatched away her son's identity card, in a bid to disown him as a worker.

"They took away the card forcefully from me," she says.

Elsewhere in the same compound, Manoj Kumar sits a worried man. His elder brother hasn't been rescued so far, and Manoj fears the worst.

"My brother is inside... We have no idea... It is now 72 hours... We are worried... I am not sure he will... but what should I say," says Manoj.

But some have been lucky. One miracle survivor was pulled out on Wednesday out of the rubble. Survivor Dinesh Kumar thanked his luck he was able to work his way out. The factory owners claim there were only 70-80 workers inside the factory. But Dinesh and other survivors insist there were over 300.

"There were three men dead behind me, I was the only one alive. I managed to come out. I am sure there are 350 people inside."

The national disaster response force has deployed high-tech equipment like robotic cameras and life sensor units to locate survivors. But it may take two more days to clear the rubble.

"We are looking for every opportunity from the top and the sides to go inside. We don't know the exact layout and the number of people inside," said one of them.

Despite the best of men and machines, the Jalandhar factory collapse has shown how difficult it is to search for and rescue those trapped. Three days on, it is still not clear how many lives will be saved or how many homes shattered as layers of rubble are peeled away.

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