Miraculous stories of survivors continue to emerge from the eastern province of Van, as frantic efforts to find and rescue those still trapped underneath the rubble of buildings that collapsed in the wake of Sunday’s devastating earthquake enter their fourth day.
Sediye Erdem, 25, a teacher who came from the northwest province of Balıkesir, was rescued yesterday morning by a military unit after she remained under the wreckage of a building for 65 hours. Erdem was removed from the rubble at around 5:45 a.m. through the help of special technical devices, according to reports.
Sediye Erdem was immediately transferred to a nearby field hospital where she began receiving treatment for her injuries. Erdem was then carried off to Van in the company of her family who later arrived on the scene.
Sediye Erdem, however, continued to inquire about Ahmet Erdem, another teacher whom she had been married to for two years and is still missing. Rescue efforts to save him are still underway, according to reports.
Eyüp Erdem, 18, was also rescued by workers after spending 61 hours under the wreckage of an apartment building. Eyüp Erdem’s father Salih Erdem has kept guard over the ruins of the building where his son has been trapped since the quake first struck, according to reports.
Eyüp Erdem was still conscious when rescue workers managed to get him out of the rubble and take him to a field hospital. Eyüp Erdem had rented with his friends a flat inside the apartment building that collapsed on him, his father said, adding that they had arrived in the district of Erciş, the quake’s epicenter, from the southeastern province of Muş about a month ago.
Eyüp Erdem was pursuing a college degree in the department of mechanical engineering in Erciş, his father said.
A 2-week-old baby girl Azra Karaduman, her mother and grandmother were also rescued from the rubble of an apartment building, some 72 hours after the initial temblor struck the area.
Azra Karaduman was first carried off to the Erciş State Hospital and then later flown to the Van Ferit Melen Airport by helicopter. The baby and the mother were then eventually taken to Ankara.
“When my milk went dry, I fed my baby with my spit because she was hungry and had a fever. We could take hunger, but she was in no such shape,” said Semiha Karaduman, the baby’s mother.
A 12-year-old boy named Serhat Gür, however, lost his life after he was rescued and taken to hospital. Gür was saved during the temblor by his mother Hatice Gür, who shielded her son with her body. Rescue teams then detected a sound under the rubble of a seven-story building, some 54 hours after the quake, just as they were about to end their search in the wreckage. Despite being rescued alive, however, Gür finally gave in to his injuries at the hospital and passed away.