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Teenager pulled from wreckage 61 hours after Turkey quake

Applause broke out as Eyup Erdem, 18, emerged from the wreckage after being located with tiny cameras.

Rescuers work around the clock in the hope of finding more survivors
Rescuers work around the clock in the hope of finding more survivors
Image: AP Photo/Selcan Hacaoglu

RESCUERS PULLED OUT out an 18-year old university student from the ruins of an apartment building 61 hours after a devastating earthquake struck eastern Turkey.

They used tiny cameras mounted on sticks to locate Eyup Erdem and broke into applause as he emerged from the wreckage of a multistory building in the city of Ercis, hit hardest in the magnitude-7.2 quake that struck on Sunday.

The state-run Anatolia news agency said Erdem was injured and was being treated at a field hospital.

The student, who had moved to Ercis a month ago to study mechanics at a university, was the latest to be pulled out of the rubble alive as rescuers desperately worked against the clock to find survivors.

The quake has killed at least 459 people. Health Ministry official Seraceddin Com said some 40 people were pulled out alive from collapsed buildings on Tuesday.

They included a 2-week-old baby girl brought out half-naked but alive from the wreckage of an apartment building 48 hours after the quake. Her mother and grandmother were also rescued, but her father was missing.

The pockets of jubilation were however, tempered by many more discoveries of bodies by thousands of aid workers.

Prison riot

Desperate survivors fought over aid and blocked aid shipments. A powerful aftershock ignited widespread panic that triggered a prison riot in a nearby provincial city.

On Wednesday, health officials said they had detected an increase in diarrhoea cases, especially among the children, and urged survivors to drink bottled water until authorities can determine whether the tap water may be contaminated.

With thousands left homeless or too afraid to return to damaged houses, Turkey said it would accept international aid offers, even from Israel, with which it has had strained relations. The country said it would need prefabricated homes to house survivors during the winter. Israel offered assistance despite a rift between the two countries over last year’s Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed nine Turkish activists.

Some 2,000 buildings collapsed and some 1,350 people were injured. The fact that the quake hit in daytime, when many people were out of their homes, averted an even worse disaster.

Close to 500 aftershocks have rattled the area, according to Turkey’s Kandilli seismology center. A strong aftershock on Tuesday sent residents rushing into the streets in panic while sparking a riot that lasted several hours by prisoners in the city of Van, 55 miles (90 kilometers) south of Ercis. The US Geological Survey put that tremor at a magnitude of 5.7.

Some prisoners demanded to be let out while others set bedding on fire as the revolt spread inside the 1,000-bed prison, the Dogan news agency reported.

WATCH: Two-week-old baby rescued after Turkish quake>

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Associated Press

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