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Former Chelsea and Newcastle forward Christian Atsu is still missing following the deadly earthquake that struck Turkey, according to Hatayspor manager Volkan Demirel. The Ghana Football Association said in a Twitter post Tuesday that Atsu was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building.
“There is no information on his whereabouts yet, we don’t know where he is,” Demirel told Reuters on Wednesday. “It’s not the case that he was pulled out or taken anywhere else.”
The Ghana international plays for Turkish club Hatayspor. A club spokesman on Monday told Turkish media that Atsu was thought to be in a building that was brought down by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and aftershocks that struck southeastern Turkey and neighboring Syria. The death toll climbed above 7,700 and was expected to rise further.
Atsu’s whereabouts and condition were unconfirmed overnight until the Ghana FA posted an update on its official Twitter site on Tuesday saying: “We’ve received some positive news that Christian Atsu has been successfully rescued.”
Atsu was receiving treatment but the GFA didn’t give details of any injuries.
The 31-year-old Atsu joined Hatayspor, which is based in the southern city of Antakya, last year.
The quake hit early Monday and was centered in Turkey’s southeastern province of Kahramanmaras. It was felt as far away as Cairo in Egypt. Multiple aftershocks caused more destruction.
Later Tuesday, second-division club Yeni Malatyaspor confirmed that 28-year-old goalkeeper Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan died following the earthquake.
More than 6,000 buildings collapsed in Turkey alone and rescuers are racing to find survivors in freezing temperatures. Officials say as many as 1,500 buildings were destroyed in the Hatay province, just southwest of the earthquake’s epicenter and where the Hatayspor club is based.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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