Christian Atsu, a former Newcastle and Chelsea star who was trapped under debris during a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey, has been rescued.
The quake, regarded as the biggest to strike Turkey and Syria in nearly a century killed over 4,800 people on Monday, sparked frantic rescues and was felt as far away as Greenland.
The 7.8-magnitude early morning quake, followed by dozens of aftershocks, wiped out entire sections of major Turkish cities in a region filled with millions who have fled Syria’s civil war and other conflicts.
Atsu, a Ghanaian, had been reported missing alongside his club Hatayspor, sporting director Taner Savut, following the disaster.
In an interview with journalists, club’s vice president Mustafa Öza revealed that the 31-year-old had been rescued but was nursing injuries in a hospital but gave grim news about Savut.
”Christian Atsu was taken out with injuries. Our sporting director, Taner Savut, is unfortunately still under the rubble,” Ozat said.
Footages shared making the rounds on social media during rescue operations in the village of Ekinci in the Adıyaman District have claimed that the voices of Atsu and sporting director Savut can be heard.
The Ghanaian Football Association on Tuesday also confirmed the player’s rescue in a statement on its official Twitter handle
”We’ve received some positive news that Christian Atsu has been successfully rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building and is receiving treatment,” it read
”Let’s continue to pray for Christian.”
Atsu joined Chelsea in September on a five-year contract, for a reported £3.5 million, but was immediately loaned to Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem, for the rest of the 2013–14 season
After loan spells at Everton, Bournemouth, and Malaga he joined Newcastle United in 2016 on a one-year loan deal with an option-to-buy clause in the contract.
On 13 September, his debut for the club came on as a substitute for Yoan Gouffran in the 61st minute in a 6–0 away victory against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road
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