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A search trip for Lebanese under the rubble of the earthquake in Turkey

A group of Lebanese Civil Defense members, on a personal volunteer initiative, arrived, on Tuesday afternoon, to Antakya, southern Turkey, in search of missing Lebanese who are still under the rubble of the earthquake, on a trip that the team leader described as an unofficial personal initiative.

The head of the team, Youssef Al-Mallah, revealed; Known for his courage in Lebanon in the midst of the civil defense apparatus, in a call at dawn on Wednesday, with “Sky News Arabia”, that “the body of the Lebanese youth, Elias Haddad, was found under the rubble of a hotel where he was staying at the moment of the earthquake in Antakya, immediately after the start of the search operation.”

“We regret that we found Elias dead after we entered a very difficult place inside the second floor of the hotel building,” the navigator said.

The navigator continued, “The Lebanese youth, Bassel, accompanied me to the place, who was with Elias in the same room, until he was found among the survivors a few days ago. Bassel, who stayed in Antakya to find his companion, was able to help us locate his companion, Elias.”

The navigator explained how difficult it is to search under the rubble without specialized tools, especially since the walls are completely demolished.

“We opened a hole in one of the walls and found Elias under the rubble,” he said.

He continued, “We had arrived from Beirut at night to search for the missing Elias and another Lebanese, the young man, Muhammad al-Muhammad, whom we hope to find, within the next few hours, as he was staying in the same hotel.”

He added, “During the search, we found the body of a Syrian girl named Lynn Kaddour, whose relatives begged us for help.”

Al-Mallah explained, “We are a group of young men working in the Lebanese Civil Defense. We number 12. We left Beirut for Antakya at our own expense and with a humanitarian mission in response to the people’s call. We have sufficient experience to search among the rubble, but we lack equipment.”

The navigator explained:

• We left Lebanon on an unofficial mission due to lack of time.

• Assigning the official mission by the Civil Defense, it requires routine meetings and a long time, and we launched our personal efforts to find out the fate of the missing Lebanese.

• We came in response to a call from the families of the young men detained under the rubble in Antakya, and we received it through the means of communication.

• The Lebanese ambassador, Ghassan al-Moallem, helped us reach Antakya, who secured rafts to shorten the time and reach Antakya and start searching for survivors and victims.

“We were in Turkey, last week, as part of an official delegation to the Kahramanmaraş region, accompanied by the Lebanese army and a group of firefighters, and we returned today after we received an appeal,” al-Mallah said.

And he added, “Many Lebanese are still unaccounted for in Turkey and in the Marash region in particular.”

What is the story of the call?

The brother of the young man, Muhammad al-Muhammad, who is still under the rubble of the hotel (until this report was prepared at noon on Wednesday), said, “We found it difficult to convince the rescue team in Antakya to help us, given the intense pressure, the lack of equipment, and the search in the hotel stopped for days.”

Mansour Al-Muhammad added to “Sky News Arabia” website, “My brother was working in import and export between Lebanon and Antakya, and he holds a Turkish residency. We are from the border area of ​​Al-Aboudieh in Akkar, northern Lebanon. Lebanon’s circumstances forced us to emigrate.”

He continued, “My brother contacted his fiancée for the last time, two hours before the earthquake, and told her that he would go to the airport early on his way to Lebanon to hold his wedding soon.”

Al-Mohammed said, “There is a shortage of equipment from which everyone in Antakya has already suffered. So we used a team specialized in thermal sensors, as it determined that there were 3 people under the rubble, and we needed to get them out.”

Al-Mansour called on “everyone who has missing relatives and relatives to go personally to search for them, especially since there are no addresses, no specific landmarks left in the city, and no hotels, given the intense pressure there and the scale of the disaster and massive destruction.”

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry publishes the news of the Lebanese

On Tuesday night, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants in Lebanon published the statistics received from the Lebanese Embassy in Ankara about the number of Lebanese victims of the earthquake that struck Turkey:

The number of dead people is 9; The bodies of 3 of them were transferred to Lebanon, and the remaining six were buried in Turkey.

6 people are likely still trapped under the rubble.
The number of those who have been insured and their safety confirmed is 70.

The number of people whose names were circulated on social media as Lebanese, some of whom are likely to be of Syrian or Palestinian nationality: 40 people.

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