ERCIS, Turkey, (Reuters) – Rescuers pulled a two-week-old baby girl alive from a collapsed apartment block yesterday as they battled to find survivors of an earthquake in eastern Turkey that killed more than 400 people and made tens of thousands homeless.
The baby’s mother and a grandmother were also brought out alive on stretchers to jubilant cries from onlookers who followed the dramatic rescue under cold, pouring rain.
“It’s a miracle!” said Senol Yigit, the uncle of the baby, Azra, whose name means “purity” or “untouched” in Arabic. “I’m so happy. What can I say? We have been waiting for two days. We had lost hope when we first saw the building,” he said sobbing.
However, hope of finding more people alive under the rubble faded with every passing hour as more bodies were found.
The death toll from Sunday’s 7.2-magnitude quake rose to 459, with 1,352 injured, the Disaster and Emergency Administration said. The final count was likely to rise further as many people were still missing and 2,262 buildings had collapsed.