Entombed under heaps of concrete and iron, Sanjay Yadav crawled along the dark floors of the four-storey Shital Fibres factory—which had collapsed late on Sunday night—in the hope of getting out.
It had been three days since the disaster, and the 18-year-old was hungry, thirsty and had nearly given up all hope of rescue, when the miracle happened.
“It was at about 4pm on Tuesday when rescue workers heard my cries and spotted me,” Yadav said. “I didn’t have a mobile phone so I could not contact people outside,” he added.
About nine hours later, at 1am on Wednesday, he was pulled out and taken to the Civil Hospital nearby.
“He was taken out after we created a tunnel in the debris to reach him,” an official of the National Disaster Response Force said.
Yadav was among the 61 people who have been rescued so far. Nine bodies have been retrieved and more than 100 workers are still feared trapped under the debris. Narrating his experience, Yadav, who hails from Bihar’s Gopalganj district, said he worked on the ground floor of the factory.
“I was talking to my colleagues, Bhagwan Das and Vinod, when suddenly the building started caving in. Before we realised what had happened the whole structure had collapsed,” he said. “It all happened in a matter of seconds. We could not even run away.” Heavy iron rods and debris fell on Das and Vinod. “Both of them died. There bodies are still under the debris,” said Yadav, who has suffered an injury in his left leg.