SOCCER ace Christian Atsu was found dead 12 days after the earthquake in Turkey, his manager confirmed today.
The 31-year-old ex-Newcastle and Chelsea player was struck by the devastating 7.8 magnitude quake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, killing more than 43,000 people.
After 12 days of a desperate search for him, Atsu’s manager said his body was tragically discovered under the rubble on Saturday.
“Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble,” Murat Uzunmehmet told reporters in Hatay.
“More items are currently being removed. His cell phone was also found.”
Search and rescue workers found Atsu’s body at the Ronesans Residence – a block of luxury high-rise buildings that had collapsed in the Hatay city of Antakya.
However, initial reports that the midfielder had been rescued the day after the earthquake turned out to be false.
Earlier footage showed rescuers with searchlights searching the rubble of Atsu’s apartment block on the first night of the natural disaster.
His voice was then heard in the rubble, along with that of Hatayspor’s sporting director Taner Savut, sources said.
Atsu was scheduled to fly out of Turkey hours before the quake.
However, the Hatayspor manager said the Ghanaian decided to stay with the club after scoring the decisive goal in a Super Lig game on February 5.
Atsu spent four seasons at Chelsea before making a permanent move to Newcastle in 2017.
He signed for Turkish super league club Hatayspor in September.
The massive 7.8 magnitude tremor stuck early on February 6.
Two other earthquakes struck within 24 hours of the first, leaving a trail of devastation in their wake.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/7429096/ex-premier-league-star-christian-atsu-dies/ Ex-Premier League star Christian Atsu dies aged 31 when his body was found in rubble 12 days after he disappeared in the Turkey quake