Christian Atsu horror update as ex-Prem star ‘plunged from 9th floor of apartment building’ in Turkey quake | The SunFebruary 8, 2023
CHRISTIAN Atsu plunged from his ninth floor apartment in Turkey when the earthquake struck, his agent has revealed.
His club initially said the 31-year-old former Chelsea winger was rescued from the rubble but have now revealed they've not yet been able to find him in hospital.
The massive 7.8 magnitude quake stuck early on Monday with such force that is has moved the country 10ft as so far killed 11,200.
Two further earthquakes struck in the 24 hours after the initial tremor, leaving a trail of destruction stretching for hundreds of miles along Turkey’s border with Syria
Atsu has been living in the city of Kahramanmaras, where his new club Hatayspor are based.
Video showed rescuers with search lights sifting through the wreckage of Atsu’s apartment block during on Monday night.
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The Ghana ace's voice was then heard in the rubble, along with that of Hatayspor’s Sporting Director Taner Savut, local media reported.
His agent Nana Sechere said he last heard from Atsu at midnight on Sunday, shortly before the quake struck at around 4.20am.
“Christian and his team-mates were playing poker until 3:30am at a friend's apartment,” he told the Mirror.
“The journey back to his apartment was around half an hour.
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"He returned at 4am and the earthquake started around 20 minutes later.
“I was hoping he was awake and that the earthquake hadn’t happened while he was sleeping. He was in an 11-storey building and he was on the ninth floor.”
The London-based agent said he received a call from a club official at 5am asking if he’d heard from the player.
“He told me Christian’s building had been completely destroyed and that they couldn’t get hold of him,” he said.
“The club officials were trying to help me find him but it was so hard because, understandably, they were trying to find their own friends and families as well.”
Eventually he received confirmation from the club that Atsu was safe at 6am on Tuesday morning.
“They told me that he was in hospital and that he is stable," he said.
But there has been confusion with club's doctor saying he was unable to locate the star in hospital -while Ghana's ambassador to Turkey confirmed he has in fact been found.
Gurbey Kahveci said when he went to the Dortyol Hospital he was unable to find the star.
"When we heard the news about Taner Savut and Christian Atsu that they were taken to the Dortyol Hospital, we went to the hospital and they were not there," he said, according to Hurriyet.
He said at present "unfortunately Taner and Christian Atsu" are being regarded as "not found".
Francisca Ashietey-Odunton, however, told Ghana TV that the "ministry of foreign affairs here assured me that he has been found".
It comes as…
- The death toll has now reached more than 11,200 but up to 20,000 are feared dead across Turkey and Syria.
- A series of aftershocks have hampered rescue efforts after the collapse of more than 11,000 buildings.
- At least three Brits are missing in the chaos, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has said.
- Trapped victims have reportedly been sending desperate voice notes begging for help.
- A grieving father was seen holding the lifeless hand of his daughter whose body was trapped in a destroyed building in Kahramanmaras.
- A newborn baby was also pulled alive from the wreckage of a collapsed building in Jindires, Syria, after his mother died giving birth.
- Aid and rescuers are pouring in from across the world, including from the UK and war-torn Ukraine.
- The Sun has launched the Earthquake Appeal to raise money to help respond to the destruction.
Just hours before the quake struck Atsu scored deep into stoppage time on Saturday to secure a 1-0 win over Kasimpasa.
"Important win for the team. Happy to be on the scoresheet," he tweeted.
Footage showed Atsu being mobbed by his teammates as ecstatic fans celebrated the win, along with messages praying for him to be found.
Big-hearted Sun readers have so far raised £250,000 in response to the devastation.
All money from the Sun Earthquake Appeal will be donated to the British Red Cross for a major on-the-ground mobilisation.
Atsu joined Chelsea from Porto for £3.5million in 2013 but didn't make a single appearance for the Premier League giants.
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He also took in loans at Vitesse, Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga and Newcastle.
And the Magpies made his deal permanent in 2017 after Atsu played a key role in their promotion from the Championship.
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