Teenager found alive 50 hours after Pakistan factory collapse


Rescuers in Pakistan have pulled a teenage boy alive from the rubble of a
collapsed factory near Lahore 50 hours after the structure toppled,
officials said on Saturday. The teenager had been trapped for more than
two days after the collapse and his family, thinking him dead, had
already identified and buried another recovered body they believed to be
his.

“An 18-year-old Muhammad Shahid was also evacuated alive 50 hours after
the building collapsed by the blessing of God,” Muhammad Usman, a top
administration official in Lahore, told AFP.

The four-storey Rajput Polyester polythene bag factory came crashing
down on Wednesday evening, and at least 37 bodies have so far been
recovered from the wreckage.
Shahid’s discovery ignited emotional scenes at the site as workers
chanted “Allah-O-Akbar (God is great)” and encouraged each other to
boost morale.

The news was a welcome surprise to his family who had mistakenly
identified the dead body of another boy earlier this week as Shahid and
buried the remains in their ancestral town of Kabirwala, some 265
kilometres (164 miles) from Lahore.

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Officials have said at least 150 people were in the factory when it came
down and it was unclear how many, dead or alive, may still be trapped.

Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif has said the factory may have
suffered structural damage in the October 26 quake, which killed almost
400 people across Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Provincial labour minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar said that an enquiry into
the collapse “is being conducted and we will probe all angles”, with a
report to be submitted within two weeks.

At least 24 people died last year when a mosque collapsed in the same
city, while more than 200 people lost their lives, mostly due to
collapsed roofs, following torrential rain and flooding in 2014.

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