Christian Atsu
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Turkey earthquake: Ex-Chelsea player, Christian Atsu, rescued alive, sustains injuries

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Former Chelsea and Newcastle player, Christian Atsu, has been rescued alive after being trapped under the rubble following the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday, which has claimed over 3,000 lives.

The Ghanian player was among those still missing as at Monday afternoon after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the Southern Turkish city of Gaziantep with series of aftershocks, and then a 7.5 magnitude quake later which skyrocketed the death toll with dozens of buildings destroyed.

Although found alive, Atsu has sustained injuries as confirmed on Tuesday by the Vice President of Turkish club, Hatayspor, which Atsu plays for, after speculations were raised that he had been rescued on Monday night.

Atsu formerly played for Chelsea, Everton and Newcastle United before joining Super Lig club Hataysport last summer.

The club’s Sporting Director, Taner Savut, was also missing alongside Atsu but is still yet to be found.

The vice president was quoted as saying, “Christian Atsu was taken out with injuries. Our sporting director, Taner Savut, is unfortunately still under the rubble.

“Hatay was deeply affected. We are coming towards the end of the most dangerous hours,” he added.

Also confirming Atsu’s rescue on Tuesday morning, team-mate Kerim Alici, said on Turkish TV that the player had been rescued alive.

Footage shared on social media by Ajansspor showed a rescue team in the village of Ekinci in the Adıyaman District claiming that voices of Atsu and sporting director Savut could be heard under the rubble, after their homes collapsed following the earthquake.

Turkish newspaper Hurriyet has also detailed that there is an anxious wait to rescue Savut, the sporting director, with rescue teams navigating the rubble.

With more than 4,000 people killed and thousands more injured, rescue operations are still ongoing to save more lives with rescue teams working all through the night.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed that all Nigerian football players in Turkey are safe.

President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the leaders of Turkey and Syria over the tragedies and promised that Nigeria is willing to support Turkey and Syria “in any way possible.”

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