Former Chelsea player rescued from rubble in Turkey after earthquake

Former Chelsea and Newcastle striker Christian Atsu was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building after the deadly earthquake that struck Turkey, the Ghana Football Association said in a post on Twitter on Tuesday.

The Ghana international plays for Turkish club Hatayspor. A club spokesman told Turkish media on Monday that Atsu was thought to be in a building that was demolished by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks that hit southeastern Turkey and neighboring Syria. The death toll exceeded 7,700 and was expected to rise further.

Atsu’s whereabouts and condition were not confirmed overnight until the Ghana FA was released an update on their official Twitter site on Tuesday saying: “We have received some positive news that Christian Atsu has been successfully rescued.”

Atsu was receiving treatment but the GFA did not give details of any injuries.

Atsu, 31, joined Hatayspor, which is based in the southern city of Antakya, last year.

The earthquake struck in the early hours of Monday and was concentrated in Kahramanmaras province in southeastern Turkey. It felt as far away as Cairo in Egypt. Multiple aftershocks caused further destruction.

Second division club Yeni Malatyaspor confirmed later on Tuesday that goalkeeper Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan, 28, had died in the quake.

In Turkey alone, more than 6,000 buildings collapsed and rescuers raced to find survivors in freezing temperatures. Officials say up to 1,500 buildings were destroyed in Hatay province, just southwest of the quake’s epicenter and home to the Hatayspor club.

Report from The Associated Press.

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