Former Chelsea forward Atsu rescued after Turkey earthquake

Chelsea's Pedro, left, and Newcastle United's Christian Atsu vie for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge stadium in London on January 12, 2019. [Matt Dunham, AP]

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

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 and has killed more than 5,000 people.

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.

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.

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