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Turkey. Earthquake. The Poles saved the twelfth person. “Bravo! Masters!”

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Polish rescuers in the Turkish city of Besni managed to extract a woman from the rubble, Andrzej Bartkowiak, the chief commander of the State Fire Service, announced on Friday evening on social media. Trapped, she spent five days under a collapsed building, in a bedroom. This is the 12th man saved by the Polish rescue group.

On Friday evening, Polish rescuers from the HUSAR group managed to save a woman who spent five days trapped under the rubble of a collapsed building in the Turkish city of Besni.

“We got it!!!!! 12th man saved. Many hours of fighting 🙂 Bravo!!!!!! Champions!!!!” – Andrzej Bartkowiak, the commander-in-chief of the State Fire Service, wrote on Twitter late on Friday.

12th person savedSEDAT SUNA/PAP/EPA

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– We reached the injured person through a tunnel about nine meters long. We dug a hole in the upper ceiling, through which our rescuer got in. He had physical contact with the injured person – the junior brigadier reported earlier on the rescue operation Yaroslav Wojtkowski in an interview with TVN24 correspondent Paweł Łukasik. Tomasz Burdal, the operator of TVN24, is staying with him in Turkey.

– This is a tangle of rubble, pipes, reinforcements, furniture, beds, chairs, door frames, windows, cables, everything you can have in an apartment – said Łukasik.

Rescuers reached the trapped womanTVN24

The woman is in the fifth day under the rubble

According to the translator Ewa Shokri, the woman’s hand is trapped.

– The lady is in quite good condition, we have contact with her, we can talk to her, she still responds to our attempts to contact. We know that she is trapped somewhere under these ruins, her eyes are closed, glued together for several days, she cannot move – said Shokri in an interview with Reporter TVN24. “I think we’re getting closer,” she added. – Our people are crawling to get inside the building, there is very little space, the conditions are difficult. Our HUSAR heroes risk their lives at any time, because there is also a risk of the building collapsing, she said.

Paweł Łukasik about the rescue of a woman trapped about 10 meters under the rubble

Paweł Łukasik about the rescue of a woman trapped about 10 meters under the rubbleTVN24, Reuters

Polish rescuers will stay until February 16

As Andrzej Bartkowiak informed on social media, on Friday morning a decision was made to extend the operation of Polish firefighters in Turkey. Rescuers will be on site until at least Thursday, February 16. “There are still chances to extract the living,” wrote Bartkowiak.

They save the woman

Andrzej Bartkowiak announced on Friday morning that he had made contact with a living person. “Another person is being rescued! Rescuer in Turkish then in English “can you talk to me? Four knocks were heard in response. “There is hope,” he wrote.

– The action lasts for many hours. At times it is interrupted when contact is made with a woman who is still under rubble for the fifth day. This action is very difficult – said Łukasik. “Firefighters are trying to get their way into this building in several different ways,” he said.

Although there are no aftershocks, the building the woman is under is in danger of collapsing.

– At the beginning, the building worked a bit more for us, now the work of those structural elements tracked by the total station has calmed down a bit, but we are constantly monitoring those points that the device has, so it is much better now. It is much easier for rescuers to work – said one of the rescuers, Capt. Wojciech Broda. – If the device showed us that any parameter would be exceeded, an alarm is activated at that time, I make the decision to evacuate people from the zone – he added.

A firefighter about the situation in Turkey and pulling a woman out of the rubble

A firefighter about the situation in Turkey and pulling a woman out of the rubbleTVN24

– She can’t move, but she gives signals, we managed to talk to her – Shokri, a Polish woman who spoke with a woman buried in the rubble, explained earlier on TVN24. “It’s possible there are two other people with her, but she couldn’t confirm if they were alive or dead.”

Shokri also told how the people of Turkey reacted in the face of the tragedy. – It is amazing, in such conditions, everyone sticks together, everyone is trying to help – she said. – I came with two buses of volunteers, 80 people. Buses with volunteers are sent all the time, trucks with help, food and hygiene products. Collections are being carried out in all cities, and in some hotels hotels have opened their doors to receive people who have suffered.

Rescue victims of earthquakesAdam Ziemienowicz/PAP/Reuters

“Let me know, tap anything”

As Paweł Łukasik explained earlier on TVN24, there are different categories of searching for survivors – pointing to a dog, pointing to a geophone and the most valuable one, i.e. direct contact with a living person.

“Firefighters have special devices they put inside that are able to hear a pin falling from a desk in such a pile of rubble,” a correspondent said in the morning. – Poles also have help from those who speak Turkish. [Osoba ta – red.] calls through the megaphone “let me know, tap anything, drop something”, because not everyone has the strength to scream, not everyone is able to break through these rubble with their voice after more than four days.

Rescuers make contact with another living person

Rescuers make contact with another living personBrig. M. Sapiecha/Twitter@ABartkowiak_PSP

Fighting for every life

Łukasik added that the action will continue until all living people have been located. Information about found individuals is still coming from other cities in Turkey, but time and weather conditions, especially cold, work to the disadvantage of rescuers. Bonfires are lit in the streets of Besni, where locals and pets try to warm themselves. Blocks that have not completely collapsed are cracked and uninhabitable.

– It’s dark, cold, no heating, no water – said Łukasik, pointing to a line of parked cars in which people from Besnia sleep.

The correspondent also told about the next phase of the search. Heavy equipment is slowly entering the rubble heap in Besni.

– From the point of view of people who are under the rubble, it is very risky, but there is no other method. No checks give results anymore – explained Łukasik. – As far as the whole of Turkey is concerned, media reports show that after such equipment arrives, it will dig up, uncover a little, let in some air through which a human voice can pass. Then there is also a chance to actually reach these people.

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

The epicenter of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria on Monday morning was in Turkey’s Kahramanmaras province. Less than 12 hours later, a second 7.7-magnitude quake occurred several dozen kilometers to the north. Both phenomena were accompanied by a series of over 100 aftershocks. In Turkey on Friday evening, the death toll from the element exceeded 20,000. 2,166 people died in Syria.

The affected region of south-eastern Turkey and north-western Syria is seismically active and tremors are frequent. However, the latter is the most powerful cataclysm of this type in this region in recent times. In 1999, an earthquake in Izmit, Turkey, killed 17,000-18,000 people. Measurements showed that the quake had a magnitude of 7.6.


The deadliest earthquake in the history of seismic measurements was recorded in 1976 in the Chinese province of Tangshan. The official figures of the authorities spoke of 250,000 victims. They were probably greatly underestimated, because some sources gave the number of people killed as high as 650,000. The earthquake in Tangshan had an official magnitude of 7.5, although other measurements put it as high as 8.2. In turn, the magnitude of 9.5 was the strongest recorded quake in history, in 1960, in Chile. More than 1,650 people died then.

Main photo source: SEDAT SUNA/PAP/EPA

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