IZMIR, Turkey (AP) — Three young children and their mother were rescued alive from the rubble of a collapsed building in western Turkey on Saturday, some 23 hours after a powerful earthquake in the Aegean Sea killed at least 39 people and injured more than 800 others. One of the children died soon after being rescued, while a fourth child was still trapped.
The Friday afternoon quake that struck Turkey’s Aegean coast and north of the Greek island of Samos registered a magnitude that Turkish authorities put at 6.6 while other seismology institutes said it measured 6.9. It toppled buildings in Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city, and triggered a small tsunami in the Seferihisar district and on the Greek island. Hundreds of aftershocks followed.
At least 37 people were killed in Izmir, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said from a crisis coordination center before visiting the wrecked sites. Among them was an elderly woman who drowned in the tsunami. But rescue teams on Saturday made contact with 38-year old Seher Perincek and her four children — ages 3, 7 and 10-year-old twins — inside a fallen building in Izmir and cleared a corridor to bring them out.
One by one, the mother and three of her children were removed from the rubble as rescuers applauded or hugged.
The survivors, including 10-year-old Elzem Perincek, were moved into ambulances on stretchers.