Former Newcastle and Chelsea star Christian Atsu has finally been rescued from a destroyed building following an earthquake in Turkey.
Atsu, who was reportedly missing alongside Hatayspor sporting director Taner Savut, is injured but is now out of the building, the club’s vice president Mustafa Özat has confirmed.
Speaking to Radyo Gol, Ozat said: ‘Christian Atsu was taken out with injuries. Our sporting director, Taner Savut, is unfortunately still under the rubble.’
He added: ‘Hatay was deeply affected. We are coming towards the end of the most dangerous hours.’
On Tuesday morning Atsu’s team-mate Kerim Alici, a close friend, also confirmed on Turkish TV that the player had been rescued alive.
More than 4,100 people have been killed and thousands more injured after the catastrophic earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria overnight on Monday, flattening neighbourhoods while families were asleep.
Footage shared on social media by Ajansspor showed a rescue team in the village of Ekinci in the Adıyaman District.
It is claimed in the video that voices of Atsu and sporting director Savut can be heard.
Turkish newspaper Hurriyet has detailed that there is an anxious wait to rescue Savut, the sporting director, with rescue teams navigating the rubble.
Hatayspor players Burak Öksüz, Kerem Alici and Onur Ergün, as well as team officials Ekrem Ekşioğlu and Osman Ateş, were rescued from the rubble on the first day, it was reported.
Atsu was part of the Newcastle team which won promotion back to the Premier League in 2017 after joining on loan for the season from Chelsea, and later completed a permanent move. He has also won 65 caps for Ghana.
The Ghana Football Association said on Tuesday: ‘We’ve received some positive news that Christian Atsu has been successfully rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building and is receiving treatment. Let’s continue to pray for Christian.’
A post on Newcastle’s official Twitter account on Monday said: ‘Praying for some positive news, @ChristianAtsu20.’
Atsu was in action on Sunday for Hatayspor, scoring a goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time in a 1-0 victory over Kasimpasa.