Murat Uzunmehmet, Christian Atsu’s Turkish agent, says his lifeless body was discovered under the rubble this morning following Turkey’s devastating earthquake.
Christian Atsu, a former Chelsea and Newcastle United forward, was discovered dead on Saturday after going missing for days following the earthquakes in Turkey, according to Uzunmehmet.
Atsu, who played for Hatayspor before his tragic death, was a star of the Chelsea academy before moving to Turkey.
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The 31-year-old was living in a flat in Hatay, which was severely damaged during the earthquake.
Nana Sechere, Christian Atsu’s Manager, who had travelled to Turkey and was providing updates throughout the week, confirmed it on Twitter:
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning
My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support”
”I ask that whilst we make the necessary arrangements, that everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time.”
Hatayspor, Atsu’s club, initially reported that he was rescued “with injuries,” but that position was changed a day later.
Nana Sechere, who is currently in Hatay, stated that they found Atsu’s “exact room location” as well as pairs of his shoes.
The agent also stated that thermal imaging cameras had revealed “up to five lives” beneath the rubble, but that those signs could not be confirmed.
He went on to say that “things are moving incredibly slowly” and that they “urgently need more resources, including a translator,” and that “any rescues are being delayed, and lives are being lost” as a result.
And said it was “unfortunate” that Atsu’s Turkish club was “not on the ground with us, side by side, in the search for Christian”.
“Their position and influence, accompanied with their local knowledge, would be extremely helpful,” he added.
Last week Atsu’s partner Claire Rupio called for equipment to be sent to the collapsed building where he was living.
“It has been nine days since the earthquake and we still have not located Christian,” Sechere tweeted on Tuesday.
“I am at the quake site in Hatay with Christian’s family. The scenes are unimaginable and our hearts are broken for all the people affected.”
Atsu was staying in a building with other Hatayspor players and officials.
Taner Savut, the club’s sporting director, has also gone missing.
Some survivors are still being rescued following the quakes and aftershocks that killed over 40,000 people in southern Turkey and northern Syria.
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