Turkey earthquake: Dad holds hand of dead daughter, 15, crushed beneath rubble


A heartbreaking image from an earthquake-stricken city in Turkey shows a grieving father holding the hand of his dead daughter lying under the rubble of a razed apartment block.

The devastating picture has emerged after two major earthquakes struck southern Turkey and northwestern Syria on Monday, followed by a third quake with a magnitude of 5.7 on Tuesday morning.

More than 5,000 people have now died and hundreds of buildings have been razed to the ground, in the aftermath of one of the deadliest natural disasters this century.

People are trapped under the rubble where they are at risk of death from injuries, cold or hunger.

A photo from the city of Kahramanmaras, near the epicentre of the quake, shows dad Mesut Hancer holding the hand of his 15-year-old daughter.

She lies dead on a bed which is largely buried on in the rubble and not able to be extracted.

WHO has warned the death toll from the earthquakes could hit 20,000 and warned 23 million people – including 1.4m children – could be affected.

UNICEF has warned that thousands of children may have been killed in Turkey and Syria.

Turkey’s vice president, Fuat Oktay, said on Tuesday that 3,419 people had been killed, with a further 20,534 injured.

Irmak lay dead on a bed, which had been buried in rubble ( Image: AFP via Getty Images)

The number of confirmed deaths in Syria rose to 1,602, bringing the death toll in both countries to 5,021.

Turkey’s disaster management agency said it had 11,342 reports of collapsed buildings, of which 5,775 had been confirmed.

Making a statement in the Commons, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly confirmed that three British nationals are missing and a further 35 are affected. He did not specify whether they were in Syria or Turkey.

He said: “We know that three British nationals are missing and the Foreign Office’s Crisis Response Hub is working to support the at least 35 British nationals who have been directly affected by these earthquakes.

Search and rescue efforts in Kahramanmaras on Tuesday ( Image: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“We assess that the likelihood of large-scale British casualties remains low.”

Cleverly said more than 6,000 buildings have collapsed and electricity and gas infrastructure has been severely damaged.

He said many of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey reside in the affected provinces and that the country is requesting international assistance “on a scale that matches the enormity of the situation that they are facing”.

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