Christian Atsu, ex-Newcastle United player, missing after earthquake

The 31-year-old spent several years at Newcastle and Chelsea before signing for Turkish side Hatayspor last summer.

WASHINGTON — Former Chelsea and Newcastle striker Christian Atsu was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building after the deadly earthquake in Turkey, the Football Association of Ghana said in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

The Ghana international plays for Turkish club Hatayspor. A club spokesman told Turkish media on Monday that Atsu was said to be staying in a building destroyed by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks in southeastern Turkey and neighboring Syria, killing more than 5,000 people.

Atsu’s whereabouts and condition remained unconfirmed overnight until announced by the Ghana Football Association an update on his official Twitter page on Tuesday, said, “We have received some positive news that Christian Atsu has been successfully rescued.”

Atsu was treated, but the GFA did not report any injuries.

“Welcome news,” said Atsu’s former club Newcastle said on Twitter in the course of the update. “Our thoughts remain with Christian, his family and everyone affected by Monday’s devastating earthquake.”

Atsu, 31, joined Hatayspor, which is based in the southern city of Antakya, last year.

The quake hit early Monday and was centered in Turkey’s southeastern province of Kahramanmaras. It was felt as far away as Cairo in Egypt. Several aftershocks caused further destruction.

In Turkey alone, more than 6,000 buildings have collapsed and rescue workers are looking for survivors in freezing temperatures. Officials say up to 1,500 buildings were destroyed in Hatay province, southwest of the quake’s epicenter and where the Hatayspor club is based.

TEGNA contributed to this report. Christian Atsu, ex-Newcastle United player, missing after earthquake

Laura Coffey

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