SCDF save boy from collapsed building in earthquake-stricken Turkey town
A team of Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers in Turkey on Wednesday rescued a boy from the rubble of a building that had collapsed following Monday’s massive earthquake.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake has left more than 15,000 dead in Turkey and the north-western regions of its neighbour Syria. Entire apartment blocks have been toppled, hospitals were wrecked and thousands of people have been left injured or homeless.
The boy was found in a collapsed building near the epicentre of the quake in the south-eastern city of Kahramanmaras. Amid wintry conditions with temperatures plunging to around 2 deg C, the Singaporean team worked with local Turkish and Spanish rescue teams to save the boy in a three-hour operation, the SCDF said in a Facebook post.
The Spanish team deployed a search canine to pinpoint the boy’s location, aided by the SCDF officers’ use of a fibre-optic scope to ascertain visuals of the boy.
All three teams used cutting and breaking equipment to reach the boy through the rubble and managed to retrieve him at around 11.45pm on Wednesday (4.45am, Thursday, Singapore time) from a bedroom in the three-storey building.
The advance team of 20 SCDF officers, part of the Operation Lionheart (OLH) contingent, had landed in the southern Turkish city of Adana earlier on Wednesday and headed east towards Dulkadiroglu, Kahramanmaras to begin search and rescue operations.
Another team of 48 SCDF officers will also be deployed to Turkey to join the 20-member advance team, the SCDF said.
Rescue efforts and the search for survivors have also been hampered by the freezing winter weather as many people remain trapped under rubble. The death toll is expected to rise.
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