Syrian boy found buried alive under ruins of Turkey earthquake

Syria: Child rescued from rubble in Qatma

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A video has shown the moment Syrian rescuers prized a little boy from the ruins of a building near Aleppo after the Turkey earthquake. Workers with Syria’s Civil Defence, known as the White Helmets, found a child named Ahmed trapped under rubble in the village of Qatma. Footage of their rescue efforts shows the men using heavy-duty machinery to free the young boy, who was pinned under entangled metal framing and concrete.

The men are seen chipping away at the debris and using a saw to cut through the metal as they bore out a hole.

They free Ahmed, who is covered in dust and appears wounded on his foot, and place him on a stretcher.

The boy is then rushed to an ambulance and attached to an oxygen machine while being taken to hospital.

The White Helmets said he was a “displaced child” who was buried under the rubble of his family home.

Ahmed comes from one of many displaced Syrian families profoundly affected by the earthquakes.

Turkey hosts the most refugees of any nation, with many crossing the border from Syria due to the protracted civil war.

Official estimates place 3.6 million Syrians living in the nation.

According to the United Nations (UN), most of them reside in the southeast, near the epicentre of Monday’s magnitude 7.5 and 7.6 earthquakes.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) estimates the majority of the one million people impacted in Gaziantep are refugees.

Idlib and Aleppo, where Ahmed was rescued by the White Helmets, were also among the areas badly damaged by the earthquakes.

Syria has reported more than 1,600 casualties, but officials fear the number is much higher due to political turmoil.

And survivors must now reckon with homelessness, as Aleppo residents have told news agencies they have nowhere to go after.

Speaking to AFP, a man in the town of Jandairis said he had lost 12 family members in the earthquake.

And another said that, while they hear their loved ones’ cries for help, they don’t have the means to free them.

He said: “We hear their voices, they’re still alive, but there’s no way to get them out.

He added: “There’s no one to rescue them. There’s no machinery.”

In a post on their official website, a spokesman for the White Helmets said thousands of people remain stuck under rubble.

The organisation has deployed 3,000 volunteers to assist in the fallout, but the local infrastructure is struggling.

They said that people are travelling through “freezing snow and rain” to receive urgent attention only to find hospitals have “buckled in the tremors”.

The statement added the local health system was “already severely depleted” following attacks on the territory.

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