Three people pulled out of Turkish quake rubble

Two teachers and a university student were rescued from ruined buildings in eastern Turkey today, three days after a devastating earthquake, but searchers said hopes of finding anyone else alive were rapidly fading.





NTV television said 25-year-old teacher Seniye Erdem was pulled out around the same time that rescue workers also freed another teacher. The woman was thirsty and asked about her husband, who had died, it said.



Excavators with heavy equipment began clearing debris from some collapsed buildings in Ercis after searchers removed bodies and determined there were no other survivors. The 7.2-magnitude quake on Sunday has killed at least 461 people and injured over 1,350.



"At the moment, we don't have any other signs of life," said rescuer Riza Birkan. "We are concentrating on recovering bodies."



Still, rescue efforts continued in some areas of Ercis, the worst hit town in the temblor that also rattled Iran and Armenia.



Gozde Bahar, a 27-year-old English teacher, was pulled out of a ruined building today with injuries as her tearful mother watched anxiously. The state-run Anatolia news agency said her heart stopped at a field hospital but doctors managed to revive her.



Earlier in the day, rescuers pulled out 18-year old university student Eyup Erdem, using tiny cameras mounted on sticks to locate him. They broke into applause as he emerged from the wreckage.



Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said 63 teachers were among the dead and he alleged that shoddy construction contributed to the high casualty toll. He compared the alleged negligence of some officials and builders to murder because they ignored safety standards.



"Despite all previous disasters, we see that the appeals were not heeded," Erdogan said.



He acknowledged problems in sending aid for thousands of people who were left homeless, but said close to 20,000 tents have since been sent to the quake zone. Turkey has said it will accept prefabricated homes and containers from other countries to house survivors, many of whom have slept in the open in near-freezing temperatures for three nights.



"There was a failure in the first 24 hours, but in such situations such shortcomings are normal," Erdogan said. "There may not be sufficient equipment in depots at the start, but these have (now) been resolved with equipment from other depots."



The quake destroyed one school and Turkish engineers were making sure other schools were safe or rendering them fit to resume lessons. Some 800 students at that school in Ercis were probably saved because the quake hit on a Sunday.



Men formed a long line for tents in Ercis, but there was chaos elsewhere. The head of the Turkish Red Crescent organisation, Ahmet Lutfi Akar, said 17 trucks were looted before aid could be distributed.



Yesterday, some groups of desperate survivors fought over aid and blocked aid shipments while a powerful aftershock ignited widespread panic that triggered a prison riot in a nearby provincial city.



Health Ministry official Seraceddin Com said some 40 people were pulled out alive from collapsed buildings yesterday. They included a two-week-old baby girl brought out half-naked but alive from the wreckage of an apartment building two days after the quake. Her mother and grandmother were also rescued, but her father was missing.



The pockets of jubilation were however, tempered by many more discoveries of bodies by thousands of aid workers.



Today, health officials said they had detected an increase in diarrhoea, especially among the children, and urged survivors to drink bottled water until authorities can determine whether the tap water may be contaminated.



With thousands left homeless or too afraid to return to damaged houses, Turkey said it would accept international aid offers, even from Israel, with which it has had strained relations. Israel offered assistance despite a rift between the two countries over last year's Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed nine Turkish activists.



Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak ordered a team to supply aid for Turkey "within minutes" of hearing the request for emergency housing units, an Israeli Defence Ministry spokesman said. A first set was scheduled to arrive in Turkey this evening while more would be sent by sea.



Over 500 aftershocks have rattled the area. A 5.7-magnitude aftershock yesterday sent residents rushing into the streets in panic while sparking a riot that lasted several hours by prisoners in the city of Van, 55 miles south of Ercis.



Today, authorities transferred some 350 of the inmates to jails in other cities after prisoners, demanding to be let out, set bedding on fire and the revolt spread inside the 1,000-bed prison.

AP

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
A bartender serves beers
news
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig and Rory Kinnear film Spectre in London
film
Life and Style
The finale at Dolce and Gabbana autumn/winter 2015
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?