Former Chelsea and Newcastle star Christian Atsu 'trapped under rubble' after earthquake in Turkey kills more than 1,000 people
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Former Chelsea and Newcastle star Christian Atsu is reportedly 'trapped under rubble' after a huge 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria.
Ghana international Atsu plays for Hatayspor and reports in Turkey say that the club's players and employees were caught up in the earthquake.
Praying for some positive news, @ChristianAtsu20. 🙏🖤🤍 pic.twitter.com/HQT6yZOmRB— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) February 6, 2023
Turkish outlet Star say that two players and two members of staff were "pulled out of the rubble" but both Atsu and Taner Savut, the club's sporting director, remain missing and a search and rescue operation is underway as they try and find the pair.
Ahmet Eyup, who plays for Yeni Malatyaspor as a goalkeeper, is also said to be under the rubble.
Atsu, who had loan spells with Everton and Bournemouth, joined Hatayspor in July 2021 from Saudi Arabia side Al-Raed.
Hatayspor Sportif Direktörü Taner Savut ve Cristian Atsu, enkaz altında kaldı. Arama kurtarma ekipleri iki ismi arıyor.— Yağız Sabuncuoğlu (@yagosabuncuoglu) February 6, 2023
He scored a 97th minute winner for his side against Kasimpasa on Sunday, just hours before the natural disaster occurred at 4am on Monday morning while civilians were sleeping.
The BBC say more than 1000 people have been killed and thousands injured in the earthquake. A second 7.5-magnitude tremor, described as "not an aftershock" happened at 13:24 local time in Elbistan, 80 miles north of the first quake's epicentre of Gaziantep.
Buildings collapsed as a result of the quake, which was felt by millions across Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and Israel.
Atsu played 80 times in the Premier League, scoring three times and registering six assists.
He signed for Chelsea in 2013 in a £3.5 million move but didn't make a single appearance for the Blues.
The former Porto man played a key role in Newcastle's promotion back to the Premier League under Rafa Benitez in 2016/17 and made the loan move permanent as a result.
World leaders around the world have pledged to send aid to Turkey following an international appeal.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Chelsea, Newcastle United, Turkey, Turkish Super Lig