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Christian Atsu found alive under Turkey earthquake rubble

By Vincent Ashitey
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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, 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.'

READ ALSO: Hatayspor manager denies false reports Christian Atsu is safe as star trapped in rubble

On Tuesday morning Atsu's team-mate Kerim Alici, a close friend, 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, flattening neighbourhoods while families were asleep.

Turkish newspaper Hurriyet has detailed that there is an anxious wait to rescue Savut, the sporting director.

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.

A post on Newcastle's official Twitter account 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.

In a message after the game, he wrote: 'Important win for the team. Happy to be on the scoresheet.'

The earthquake hit hard in Kahramanmaras, where Hatayspor are based.

Hatayspor player Onur Ergun posted an Instagram story in response to earlier reports that he is missing to say they were incorrect.

'Thank you very much to everyone who called and asked,' the midfielder said. 'The news is not true. I'm fine.

'I can't answer the phone because there is a network problem. Get well soon to all of us.'

Former Turkey international and Hatayspor manager Volkan Demirel broke down in tears on social media as he implored the world to help his homeland after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Sunday.

Demirel, who made 63 senior caps for Turkey during his international career, took to Instagram in a live video on Monday morning to beg for support.

'Help! I want you to send all the resources you have to the environmentalist. It is not just Hatay and Antakya,' Demirel pleaded.

'Please, I'm asking you. Please, please, for the love of God, people are dying here. For the love of God...'

Despite starting the video off in a relatively composed manner, Demirel soon broke down in tears as he begged for help, appropriately capturing the grief and anguish his nation is experiencing after the earthquake.

The wife of Hatayspor manager Demirel shared a tearful message after a massive aftershock with a magnitude of 7.5 hit Turkey's south hours after the original quake.

'Hatay is in a very bad way,' Zeynep Sever Demirel said in a video shared on social media.