Consumed With Grief, Ctd

The death toll from the factory collapse in Bangladesh has topped 800. Take a moment to look at Taslima Akhter’s heartbreaking photograph of a man and woman buried in the rubble:

I spent the entire day the building collapsed on the scene, watching as injured garment workers were being rescued from the rubble. I remember the frightened eyes of relatives — I was exhausted both mentally and physically. Around 2 a.m., I found a couple embracing each other in the rubble. The lower parts of their bodies were buried under the concrete. The blood from the eyes of the man ran like a tear. When I saw the couple, I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I knew them — they felt very close to me. I looked at who they were in their last moments as they stood together and tried to save each other — to save their beloved lives.

Every time I look back to this photo, I feel uncomfortable — it haunts me. It’s as if they are saying to me, we are not a number — not only cheap labor and cheap lives. We are human beings like you. Our life is precious like yours, and our dreams are precious too.

Earlier coverage of the tragedy here and here. Above is an award-winning report from Brian Ross and his team on a massive fire in a Bangladeshi garment factory late last year that killed more than 100 people. The deaths, like the ones from the factory collapse, were caused by poor safety regulations that kept victims from escaping the inferno.