Former Newcastle and Ghana winger, Christian Atsu is still missing nine days after an earthquake in Turkey, with his agent Nana Sechere pleading for more resources to aid rescue attempts. More than 37,000 people died when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck south-eastern Turkey and northern Syria in the early hours of February 6, followed by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
Atsu, who plays for Turkish club Hatayspor, went missing after teammates and members of the club’s technical staff were rescued from the rubble. Last week, there were claims that the Ghanaian international had also been rescued, but these were false, and he remains missing.
“It has been nine days since the earthquake and we still have not located Christian,” said Atsu’s agent Sechere in a statement to Sky Sports News.
“I am at the quake site in Hatay with Christian’s family. The scenes are unimaginable and our hearts are broken for all the people affected.
“During my time here we have been able to locate Christian Atsu’s exact room location, and we have found two pairs of his shoes.
“Yesterday we received confirmation that thermal imagery was showing signs of up to five lives, however, I am told that the only real confirmation of life is through sight, smell and sound, and unfortunately we were not able to locate Christian.”
He continued, “This is a difficult situation and we are extremely grateful to all the Turkish and foreign rescue teams, local civilians and volunteers for their efforts and response in rescuing survivors.
“However, we urgently need more resources, including a translator, on the ground. Things are moving incredibly slow and, as a result of that, many rescues are being delayed, and lives are being lost due to the lack of resources available to the workers.
“It is unfortunate that the club is not on the ground with us, side by side, in the search for Christian. Their position and influence, accompanied with their local knowledge would be extremely helpful.
“We implore the president of the club and mayor of Hatay, Lutfu Savas, to provide additional resources to speed up the rescue efforts as a priority.”
After coming on loan from Chelsea for the season and eventually completing a permanent move, Christian Atsu was part of the Newcastle club that gained promotion back to the Premier League in 2017. He also had short-term loan spells with Everton and Bournemouth.
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