Ghanaian-born footballer and Former English Premier League player, Christian Atsu is reportedly trapped under rubble following a massive earthquake in Turkey.
A search and rescue operation is underway after Atsu, who previously played for Chelsea and Newcastle United, was trapped by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake. The 65-cap Ghana international joined Super League club Hatayesport last summer.
Several members of his new team had to be rescued after the earthquake, and Atsu is now among the missing when the search and rescue operation began. The club’s sporting director Tanner Savot is also in custody as efforts continue to free her.
Atsu joined Chelsea from Porto as a youngster in 2013 before being sent on various loan deals. He spent time at Everton and Bournemouth before making a permanent move to Newcastle United in 2017 after missing a Premier League game for Chelsea.
He left the Magpies after playing over 100 games in 2021 to join Al-Raed of Saudi Arabia but left the Middle East for Turkey in the summer. He scored his first goal for the club this weekend, just hours before the earthquake.
According to the authorities, the disaster killed more than 1,300 people and injured another 6,000. A 7.5 magnitude aftershock hit southern Turkey hours after the original tremor. He has reportedly felt it again in both Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan.
Soccer players and other athletes were caught up in the chaos. The wife of Hatayspor director Volkan Demirel shared a tearful message after a magnitude 7.5 aftershock struck southern Turkey hours after the original quake.