'Miracle': Little girl pulled from rubble four days after deadly earthquake

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read

A young girl has been freed from the rubble of a collapsed apartment block in Turkey 91 hours after a deadly earthquake rocked the country's western coast.

The child, believed to be aged three or four, was extracted safely from a building in the city of Izmir, disaster management agency Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) tweeted.

Rescue workers cleared the debris around the toddler. She was trapped in a tiny gap yet looked calm, AFAD footage on Twitter showed.

Rescuer with toddler before pulling her from rubble after Turkey earthquake.
A member of a search and rescue team kisses little Ayda Gezgin after finding her beneath rubble in Izmir. Source: Getty Images

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca identified the girl as Ayda Gezgin, sharing footage of her talking to a health officer on an ambulance. State media initially identified her as Ayla.

She reveals her name and says she does not feel pain.

"A new miracle”, state broadcaster TRT described her rescue, which came almost 30 hours after the rescue of another girl of the same age from the wreckage in Izmir city.

"I heard a child's voice," rescuer Ahmet Celik told reporters.

"I put my head through the hole," Mr Celik said, his voice quivering. He recalled her saying she was very thirsty and requested water and ayran, a yoghurt beverage.

TRT said rescue efforts were under way for the mother who was also believed to be trapped, while the father was safe outside when the quake hit.

Toddler reaches for help from beneath rubble in Izmir, Turkey.
The toddler miraculously survived after being covered in rumble for 90 hours. Source: Getty Images

An earthquake centred in the Aegean Sea hit both Turkey and Greece on Friday (local time).

"We are very happy. I cannot describe the moment she stared at us," another rescuer told TRT, describing how he gave her blood serum and covered her in a blanket.

An image from the first moments of the rescue on TRT showed one rescuer kiss her and the girl holding the rescuer's thumb.

The girl is in good condition in hospital, state news agency Anadolu quoted Environment and Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum as saying in Izmir.

The death toll in Izmir reached 102, while as many as 8000 rescuers continued their efforts at four collapsed buildings, Mr Kurum added.

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