Pro Soccer Star Rescued from Collapsed Building After Turkey Earthquake: 'Continue to Pray'

Christian Atsu of Ghana is in "stable" condition after he was rescued from a collapsed building after two powerful earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria on Monday

Christian Atsu during the Newcastle United Training Session at the Newcastle United Training Centre on January 28, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Photo: Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty

Christian Atsu, a soccer player from Ghana, was rescued from a collapsed building after a powerful earthquake hit Turkey on Monday.

In a tweet, the Ghanaian Football Association said 31-year-old Atsu was "successfully rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building and is receiving treatment."

"Let's continue to pray for Christian," the organization said in the message.

Atsu's agent, Nana Sechere, told CNN the soccer player is currently in "stable" condition.

A powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey's central southern Gaziantep province on Monday morning, which was followed by a second quake about nine hours later. The death toll from the earthquakes has risen to at least 2,300, according to the Associated Press.

Turkey's emergency AFAD disaster agency reported 1,498 people were killed and 7,600 injured in the natural disaster, with 2,818 buildings collapsed as of Monday morning, Reuters reported.

Christian Atsu of Atakas Hatayspor posing for a photo during a training session in Hatay, Turkiye
Cem Genco/Anadolu Agency via Getty

In Syria, the country's health ministry said that more than 430 people had been killed and 1,280 injured, per Reuters

The night before the quakes, Atsu, who plays for Hatayspor in Turkey, scored the game-winning goal in a league game against Kasimpasa, Sechere told CNN.

"I was told by the club that he was in [the] hospital and that he is stable. He doesn't have his phone and, like all of us, he can't remember his numbers by heart so I have to continue to wait to speak to him," he explained.

ESPN, citing Radyo Gol, reported that Hatayspor officials said the club's sporting director, Taner Savut, has not yet been rescued.

"Christian Atsu was pulled out injured," club vice president Mustafa Ozat told Radyo Gol. "Our sporting director, Taner Savut, is unfortunately still under the rubble."

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According to Goal, Turkish club Yeni Malatyaspor said their goalkeeper, Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan, died in the earthquake.

"Our goalkeeper, Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan, lost his life after being under the collapse of the earthquake," the club said on social media. "Rest in peace. We will not forget you, beautiful person."

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