3-year-old girl rescued alive after 65 hours trapped under rubble in Turkey earthquake

Three children pulled from rubble days after quake
01:50 - Source: CNN
Istanbul, Turkey CNN  — 

A 3-year-old girl has been rescued alive from a collapsed apartment building in Izmir, Turkey, following Friday’s strong earthquake, according to Turkish state news agency Anadolu.

The child, identified by authorities as Elif Perincek, was rescued on Monday morning, more than 65 hours after the devastating quake struck.

Emergency workers who had worked tirelessly to rescue her applauded as Elif – wrapped in a foil blanket and covered in dust – was carried through the wreckage and into an ambulance.

Muammer Celik, the firefighter who pulled the girl from the rubble of her home, told CNN that she held tight to his hand until he brought her to safety.

In this photo made available by Turkey's health ministry, Elif Perincek rests in her hospital bed.

“I thought she might be in the space between her bed and her dresser. I went in that direction and that’s where I found her lying on her back. I picked her up. I cleaned her face got rid of the dust. She held my finger and wouldn’t let go until we got to ambulance,” Celik said.

“Elif is our miracle,” he added.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Perincek’s mother and two others were rescued earlier, but, unfortunately, one of her siblings had died.

Koca said later on Monday that the 3-year-old had been taken to hospital and was being treated in intensive care. He said she had not sustained any serious fractures or muscle crush injuries and was in good condition.

News of the rescue came just hours after another child was found alive under the rubble and safely brought to the surface by rescue teams. Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said that 14-year-old Idil Sirin was rescued after she had spent more than 58 hours trapped under a collapsed building.

In phone video showing the dramatic moment of Sirin’s rescue, dozens of onlookers are heard cheering excitedly as she is freed from the wreckage. She was given first aid at the scene before being transported to a local hospital, according to Anadolu.

Volunteers clear rubbles as they search for survivors in a collapsed building after a strong earthquake struck the country's western coast and parts of Greece, killing four people and injuring 120, in Izmir, on October 30, 2020. - A powerful earthquake hit Greece and Turkey, causing buildings to collapse and a sea surge that flooded streets in the Turkish resort city of Izmir. Greek public television said the quake also caused a mini-tsunami on the eastern Aegean Sea island of Samos, damaging buildings. The US Geological Survey said the 7.0 magnitude quake was registered 14 kilometres (8.6 miles) off the Greek town of Karlovasi on Samos. (Photo by Mert CAKIR / AFP) (Photo by MERT CAKIR/AFP via Getty Images)
Buildings collapse as a major earthquake strikes Turkey and Greece
01:36 - Source: CNN

At least 91 people died and 994 were injured after the earthquake – measured as magnitude-7.0 by the US Geological Survey – struck in the Aegean Sea on Friday, shaking parts of Greece and Turkey.

The quake struck 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) northeast of the town of Néon Karlovásion on Samos, the USGS reported, at a relatively shallow depth of 21 kilometers (13 miles), making its impact powerfully felt at ground level around the epicenter.

Some 20 buildings were seriously damaged in Izmir by the tremor, according to Izmir Mayor Tunc Soyer, the majority of them in the middle-class Bayrakli district.