In a dramatic operation, EMAK rescuers from the Greek Fire Service managed to free a 6-year-old girl from the rubble of her collapsed home in the Turkish city of Iskenderun in the Hatay province on Tuesday afternoon local time.
Using special equipment, the team had opened a 7-meter-deep passage to reach the girl, one of whose arms was trapped under debris.
She has been under the rubble for almost 36 hours, since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and multiple aftershocks struck eastern Turkey and neighboring Syria early Monday morning.
It was the girl’s 7-year-old sister who shouted under tons of concrete and drew the rescuers’ attention. EMAK rescuers tried for three hours to free the girl who died short before she was out.
The rescuers continued efforts to free the little sister, trapped in the building stairwell and managed to pull her out alive.
The rescuers of EMAK could hardly hold back their tears and fell into each other’s arms.
Greek rescuers tried hard to get a young girl out of the ruble alive. They did not manage. Minutes after, they are rescuing her 6 yrs old sister. And they burst into tears. And then applauding. The mystery of life, the power of love. #Turkey, you are not alone! #TurkeyEarthquake pic.twitter.com/gS26kX6C3t
— Makis Mylonas (@MylonasMakis) February 7, 2023
The girls’ mother had died under the rubble as well.
Rescued was also a 50-year-old man.
Search teams and emergency aid from around the world have poured into Turkey and Syria as rescuers working in freezing temperatures dug, sometimes with their bare hands, through the remains of buildings flattened by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake.
It is recalled that the United Nations agency for children had earlier stated that the earthquake and aftershocks that have destroyed a huge number of buildings in Turkey and Syria, may have claimed the lives of thousands of children.
Tuesday afternoon and the death toll has soared above 5,100 people, so far while some 8,000 have been rescued by rescue teams and local residents who removed rubble with their naked hands.
The number of missing person, still trapped live under the rubble or already killed remains unknown.
The clock is ticking and chances for survival are getting slimmer as statistics give a range of up to 72 hours.
Some 6,300 buildings have collapsed in ten provinces in south-east Turkey.