Remains of thousands of victims may still be under the rubble in Turkey: Report

Remains of thousands of victims may still be under the rubble in Turkey: Report
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People in Antioch are still trying to learn what happened to their close ones who were trapped under Ronesans Residences on 6 February.

Turkey's Union of Healthcare Professionals (SES) said in a recent report that thousands of deaths after the twin earthquakes on 6 February have gone unreported and that the remains of many victims may still be under the rubble:

"Unfortunately there is no satisfying information flow concerning loss of life, missing people and relocation of survivors due to the earthquake. There are claims that the remains of many victims are still under the rubble. Thousands of victims are alive according to official records because these deaths have not been officially reported. This makes it impossible to assess the actual figure of fatalities, and it is mentally devastating for the families of the victims."

According to independent daily Cumhuriyet, several families in the earthquake hit city of Antioch have been unable to recover the remains of their close ones who were trapped under the rubble of Ronesans Residences that collapsed in the earthquake.

Fifty-five people are missing, Cumhuriyet said, citing four missing victims' family member Pinar Dogan Kilic saying, "Their remains were most probably carried away in the rubble of the building. The remains might be recovered if a search is conducted at the site where the rubble was dumped."

The fate of another 25 people who were trapped under the collapsed Ilke apartment building in Antioch also remains unknown, according to a report by Diken's Aysegul Kasap.

Hande Kilic, who have been searching for her brother, her sister-in-law and her nephew for two months, told Diken about how the search and rescue operations had been carried out:

"There was no one from AFAD [Turkey's disaster authority] or other officials present. There were only two scoops and their operators. There were no experts. Whenever the remains of a victim was recovered, the operator stopped working and let the family take the victim's remains away."

There is also still a large number of unidentified victims that adds to the situation.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had said on 14 April that while 50,500 fatalities have been reported so far, "there are around 1,020 who have not been identified."