Earthquake survivor calls family after being trapped under rubble for 10 days
| Last updated
Bittersweet footage shows a survivor of the recent earthquake in Turkey calling his family after being trapped under rubble for 10 days.
More than 84,000 buildings have also either collapsed or were severely damaged in the incident, leaving scores of people trapped beneath debris.
According to the Turkish Health Ministry, two men were rescued 261 hours after the quake struck – one of whom was identified as Mustafa Avci.
After his rescue, authorities released a video of the phone call Avci made to his friend to confirm he was still alive.
Avci, who was found in the remains of a private hospital in the Turkish province of Hatay, says: “I am in the hospital. They will send me wherever necessary.”
His friend can be heard crying with joy at the other end of the phone, before Avci asks: “How is my mother? And everyone?”
The friend replies: “They’re all waiting for you. Everyone is well. They’re all waiting for you. I’m coming to you.”
When Avci asks again if everyone was able to escape, the response is: “They’re all well, everything is well.”
Avci and his family had been on the ground floor of the clinic in Antakya when the earthquake hit, telling Reuters he went downstairs to get ‘some air’.
His wife Bilge, 28, had just given birth by caesarean to their daughter Almile, and was being treated on the fourth floor – the pair thankfully not seriously injured in the emergency.
Avci has since been reunited with his wife and their newborn baby in hospital, telling reporters as his baby lay on his chest for the first time: “I thought my family died.
“My wife, my child, I thought they were all dead. God bless everyone. I'm so happy.”
Avci added of his daughter, who was born just hours before the earthquake: “I was so scared my baby would grow up without a father.
“I experienced both heaven and hell. But thankfully, we got together and our family is complete.”
His father also told Reuters that he had ‘completely lost all hope’, describing the discovery of his son as a ’true miracle’.
"I thought nobody could be saved alive from there,” he added.
According to the Turkish Health Ministry, teenager Osman Halbiye was also rescued along with Avci.
If you’d like to help those who’ve been affected by the recent devastating events unfolding in Turkey and Syria you can donate to the British Red Cross' emergency appeal.
Featured Image Credit: Turkish Health Ministry
Topics: World News