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B.C. team helps rescue woman, pulled from rubble four days after Turkey quake

February 13, 2023 
By The Canadian Press

A search and rescue team from British Columbia has taken part in the successful rescue of a woman buried beneath rubble, more than four days after the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria earlier this week.

The Burnaby Urban Search and Rescue Team says in a Facebook post the woman had been trapped under the ruins of a multi-storey building.

The post says it took between five and six hours from the time she was first identified by search and rescue dogs to the moment she was pulled out and rushed to a local medical centre.

The team shared photos of its members working alongside Turkish volunteers, saying it was “a special team effort by everyone involved.”


Footage from the CBC showed members of the team being thanked and embraced by Turkish colleagues on the scene, moments after the dust-covered woman was taken to an ambulance in the town of Adiyaman on Friday.

Turkey’s consul general in Vancouver has said the team was deployed early Thursday morning local time.

It remains the only Canadian rescue crew in the quake zone, as the Vancouver consulate said a deadline for others to participate had expired.

It said Thursday the Burnaby team “is and will be the only team from Canada” working as rescuers in Turkey, after it independently offered help.

B.C.’s Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma shared news of the woman’s rescue on Twitter on Friday, saying the government is “incredibly proud,” and remains in daily contact with federal authorities to provide help.

Ma said Thursday that the Burnaby team had “self-deployed.”

An earlier Facebook post from the Burnaby team says it was “getting reports of trapped people messaging on their phones for help” after what it described as a long day at work in the town in southeast Turkey.

The post said 235 people had been rescued in Adiyaman since the first quake.

Canadian federal authorities had not given an official go-ahead to any rescue teams since Monday’s quake, which has many killed thousands.

Ottawa has sent an assessment team and committed $10 million to relief efforts.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2023.

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