Bangladesh collapse survivor leaves hospital

SAVAR, Bangladesh (AP) — A 19-year-old seamstress who survived for 17 days in the rubble of a collapsed garment factory building left the hospital Thursday with a new job at an international hotel chain.

Reshma Begum had vowed never again to work in a garment factory after she was rescued from the wreckage of the eight-story Rana Plaza building, where 1,129 people were killed in April in the world’s worst garment industry disaster.

Begum, whose tale of survival in a wide pocket beneath the debris has made her a celebrity in Bangladesh, fielded job offers from many companies before accepting work at the Westin Hotel in Dhaka, said Maj. Gen. Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy, the local military chief overseeing her care.The Westin’s manager, Azim Shah, said Begum would work in the housekeeping department as a “Public Area Ambassador.” Hotel officials said she would talk to guests, but they did not elaborate on her responsibilities.

Authorities at the military hospital where Begum was treated said she was fully recovered, and she looked fine Thursday as she spoke briefly to the media.

“I am OK now, doing fine. I am grateful to everybody,” she said.

She then left the hospital in a silver van headed for the hotel.

Begum, who earned 4,700 takas ($60) a month at one of the factories in Rana Plaza, suffered a head injury in the collapse.

She survived in the refuge beneath the rubble by rationing out cookies and water she had with her.

The Rana Plaza tragedy has created global pressure for reform in the Bangladeshi garment industry.

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