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Christian Atsu dies in Turkey, body found beneath rubble

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Christian Atsu
Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu is dead. Photo/Daily Express
  • Ghanaian international footballer Christian Atsu is dead
  • His body was found beneath a rubble nearly a fortnight after the February 6 earthquake
  • Earlier reports indicated that he had been rescued but it was not the case

Ghanaian international footballer Christian Atsu is dead following a devastating earthquake in Turkey.

Atsu’s body was found beneath a rubble at his home in Hatay city nearly a fortnight after the earthquake hit Turkey on February 6.

The 31-year-old was playing for Turkish club Hatayspor and previously played for Newcastle, Everton and Chelsea.

EARLIER RESCUE REPORTS

On February 7, Hatayspor reported that he had been rescued and rushed to the hospital with breathing difficulties. However, the same club changed tune on February 8 saying he was yet to be found.

Christian Atsu

Ghanaian International footballer based in Turkey Christian Atsu. Photo/Eurosport

Portuguese publication A Bola reported that Atsu’s whereabouts remained widely unknown despite his teammates being saved. However, he was rescued 24 hours after the earthquake and rushed to hospital. A Bola added that he sustained a right foot injury and was having breathing problems.

WHO CONFIRMED CHRISTIAN ATSU IS DEAD?

His agent Nana Sechere confirmed Atsu’s death.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well-wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning. My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support,” Sechere says.

CHRISTIAN ATSU FOOTBALL CAREER

Atsu was a young player when he first transferred from Porto to Chelsea in 2013 and later went on several loans. Prior to moving permanently to Newcastle United in 2017, having never played a Premier League game for Chelsea, he briefly played for Everton and Bournemouth.

He joined the Saudi club Al-Raed after playing more than 100 games for the Magpies in 2021, although he later left the Middle East for Turkey in the summer. Just hours before the earthquake hit, he scored his first goal for the team in a weekend match.

Screaming survivors could be heard in several areas of Turkey from below collapsing buildings. Rescue operations continued while Turkey and Syria were engulfed in darkness, rain, and cold. Further, rescue workers in Turkey’s Kahramanmaras province retrieved two toddlers alive from the wreckage. About 20 people in Adana, Turkey, some wearing emergency rescue jackets, used power saws to create an opening that would allow survivors to escape or be rescued.

Later, motorised diggers joined the work when brilliant spotlights lit the debris. Along with about 3,500 soldiers, thousands of search and rescue workers, firefighters, and medical professionals worked in 10 provinces. Screaming was heard from beneath buildings, and locals lifted the rubble to reveal the victims.

 

Christian Atsu

Christian Atsu. Photo/ZionFelix.net

HOW BAD WAS THE EARTHQUAKE?

According to officials, the calamity has claimed the lives of over 1,300 people and injured 6,000 more. Hours after the initial earthquake, a large aftershock with a magnitude of 7.5 struck southern Turkey. Reportedly, the earthquake moved to Iraqi Kurdistan and Syria thereafter.

Over 2,800 people have died in Turkey; images show that many cities and villages have suffered devastating structural damage. According to local authorities and humanitarian organisations cited by the AFP news agency, there are currently 800 fatalities and 2,000 injuries in Syria.

In a frantic search for survivors trapped by a severe earthquake, rescue personnel and citizens carried slabs of concrete to one another tonight across mountains of debris.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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