2 girls rescued days after quake in Turkey
In what one rescue worker called “a miracle,” extraction teams brought two girls out alive on Monday from the wreckage of their collapsed apartment buildings in the Turkish city of Izmir, three days after a strong earthquake hit Turkey and Greece.
Onlookers applauded in joy and relief as ambulances carrying the girls rushed to hospitals immediately after their rescues.
The overall death toll in Friday’s quake reached 85 after teams found more bodies overnight amid toppled buildings in Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city.
Close to 1,000 people were injured, mostly in Turkey, in the quake, which was centered in the Aegean Sea northeast of the Greek island of Samos.
Rescue workers clapped in unison on Monday as 14-year-old Idil Sirin was removed from the rubble, after being trapped for 58 hours. Her 8-year-old sister, Ipek, did not survive, NTV television reported.
Seven hours later, rescuers working on another toppled building extricated 3-year-old Elif Perincek, whose mother and two sisters had been rescued two days earlier. The child spent 65 hours in the wreckage of her apartment and became the 106th person to be rescued alive.
Muammer Celik of Istanbul’s search-and-rescue team told NTV television that he thought Elif was dead when he reached the child.
“There was dust on her face, her face was white,” he said. “When I cleaned the dust from her face, she opened her eyes. I was astonished.
“It was a miracle, it was a true miracle.”