Christian Atsu’s whereabouts remain unknown more than a week on from the earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria, the former Newcastle midfielder’s agent has said.
After the magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 earthquakes that struck on February 6, there were initial reports that Atsu, who has been with Turkish side Hatayspor since last summer, had been rescued from the rubble of a building that collapsed in the disaster.
The 31-year-old Ghanaian’s agent Nana Sechere subsequently posted messages on Twitter on February 8 and 9 saying Atsu was yet to be found.
Sechere issued another update on Tuesday confirming that, while two pairs of his shoes had been found, that remained the case, with a series of tweets reading: “It has been nine days since the earthquake and we still have not located Christian.
“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.
“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.”
The death toll from the quakes that hit south-eastern Turkey and northern Syria has passed 35,000.
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