Ex-Premier League star Christian Atsu dies aged 31 as body found in rubble 12 days after he went missing in Turkey quake | The Sun
FOOTBALL ace Christian Atsu has been found dead 12 days after the Turkey earthquake, his manager confirmed today.
The 31-year-old ex-Newcastle and Chelsea player was caught up in the devastating 7.8-magnitude quake that rocked Turkey and Syria on February 6, killing more than 43,000 people.
After 12 days of desperately searching for him, Atsu's manager said his body was tragically discovered buried in the rubble on Saturday.
"Atsu's lifeless body was found under the rubble," Murat Uzunmehmet said.
"Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found."
Rescue workers found Atsu's body where he was staying at Ronesans Residence – a block of high-rise luxury flats that toppled over in Antakya city in Hatay.
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There were initial reports the midfielder had been rescued a day after the quake, but these turned out to be false.
Earlier footage showed rescuers with search lights sifting through the wreckage of Atsu’s apartment block on the first night of the natural disaster.
His voice was then heard in the rubble, along with that of Hatayspor’s Sporting Director Taner Savut, local reports said.
Atsu, who has three kids with wife Marie-Claire, had been scheduled to fly out of Turkey hours before the quake.
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But Hatayspor's manager said the Ghana star opted to stay with the club after scoring the game-winning goal in a February 5 Super Lig match.
Atsu spent four seasons at Chelsea before a permanent transfer to Newcastle in 2017.
He signed in September for Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor.
Several members of his new team had to be rescued from their homes after the earthquake struck at 4am local time.
The massive 7.8 magnitude quake stuck early on February 6.
Two further earthquakes struck in the 24 hours after the initial tremor, leaving a trail of destruction.
More than 43,000 people are now believed to have died.
And freezing conditions and difficulty getting aid to remote areas is fuelling a further humanitarian disaster.
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The United Nations regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria Muhannad Hadi said the death toll in the country is set to rise as teams scramble to reach buildings in hard-hit areas.
The Sun Earthquake Appeal, which we launched to support the Red Cross, has now raised over £1 million with readers donating £110,000.
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