Baby rescued after Turkey earthquake
The rescued baby's mother, Semiha, and grandmother, Gulsaadet, were huddled together, with the baby clinging to her mother's shoulder when rescuers found them, Direk told The Associated Press. Hours after the infant was freed, the two others were pulled from the large, half-flattened building and rushed to ambulances to new cheers. The mother had been semiconscious, but woke up when rescuers arrived, Direk said.
Firefighters and rescuers ordered silence while they listened for noise from other possible survivors in the collapsed apartment block, parts of which were being supported by a crane. But workers could not find the baby's father and there were no other signs of life, Direk said.
Direk was chosen for the rescue because he was thinnest and could squeeze through the narrow corridor that workers had drilled.
He chatted with the mother while trying to get her out, at one point jokingly asking her to name the baby after his own son, Cagan.
"She replied that the baby was a girl, and that she wanted her named Azra," he said.
Gerald Rockenshaub, disaster response manager at the World Health Organization, said the first 48 to 72 hours are crucial for rescues and the chances of finding survivors decreases significantly after that. People can survive without food for a week or so but having access to water was critical, he said.
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.