Christian Atsu was reportedly found alive after being “trapped” following an earthquake in Turkey.
The 31-year-old, who played for Chelsea and Newcastle during his time in the Premier League, was trapped after Turkey was hit by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake on Monday.
Portuguese newspaper A Bola reports that Atsu was rescued from the rubble and taken to hospital after suffering injuries to his right foot and difficulty breathing.
Journalist Sadiq Adams claimed to have contacted Atsu’s administration team and confirmed that the station was safe. Adams previously tweeted that Atsu “was on the 9th floor of the collapsed building with 9 other players and 2 officials. 3 players and 1 official saved. Club officials are on site while the search continues.”
Hatayspor, Atsu’s current club, is based in the Turkish city of Hatay, which is said to be one of the areas hardest hit by the accident. In addition to Atsu, it was reported that the club’s sporting director Taner Savut and an interpreter were also picked up after the earthquake.
Other players including Onur Ergun and Burak Oksuz were rescued after the crash. Two other companions of Atsu, Ruben Ribeiro and Zé Luis, are also rescued while Karim Alessi manages to clear the debris.
Atsu, who joined Chelsea as a youngster in 2013 after leaving Porto, also had stints at several top clubs including Everton and Bournemouth before moving to St James’ Park.
He joined Hatayspor in the summer and scored his first goal for the club on Sunday night – just hours before the disaster devastated Turkey.
It was reported that at least 2,800 people died and over 12,000 others were injured in Turkey and Syria after the crash. A 7.5 magnitude aftershock hit southern Turkey just hours after the original tremor. He has reportedly felt it again in both Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan.
Other sports stars were also affected by the earthquake, with Olympic wrestler Taha Akgül desperately asking for “urgent help” on his social media account.