Sources: AP, AFP, BBC News JINDERIS, SYRIA. A newborn girl has been saved by rescuers from beneath the rubble of a 5-storey building in north-west Syria following the devastating earthquakes that hit the area on Monday.
Her mother went into labour soon after the disaster and gave birth before she died, a relative, Ramadan Sleiman, told the Associated Press. Her father, four siblings and an aunt were also killed.
Dramatic footage showed a man carrying the baby, covered in dust, after she was pulled from debris in the small town of Jinderis, next to the Turkish border. A man is seen lifting her up, her umbilical cord still dangling, and rushes away as another man throws him a blanket to wrap her in.
The baby’s uncle, Khalil al-Suwadi told BBC News relatives had rushed to the scene when they learned of the collapse.
“We heard a voice while we were digging,” he told AFP news agency on Tuesday. “We cleared the dust and found the baby with the umbilical cord [intact], so we cut it and my cousin took her to hospital.”
In a media statement Paediatrician Hani Maarouf said the baby girl was stable, but had arrived at his hospital in a bad condition, with “several bruises and lacerations over all her body”.
“She also arrived with hypothermia because of the harsh cold. We had to warm her up and administer calcium.”
The baby’s body temperature had fallen to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and she had bruises, including a large one on her back, he said.
Baby’s mother, Afraa Hadiya, must have been conscious during the birth and must have died soon after, Maarouf said.
He estimated the baby was born several hours before being found, given the amount her temperature had dropped.
“If the girl had been born just before the quake, she wouldn’t have survived so many hours in the cold,” he said.
“Had the girl been left for an hour more, she would have died,” he said.
When the earthquake hit before dawn on Monday, Afraa Hadiya, her husband and four children apparently tried to rush out of their apartment building, but the structure collapsed on them.
The miracle baby was photographed lying in an incubator and connected to a drip, as a joint funeral was held for her parents and her four siblings.
The death toll in southern Turkey and northern Syria has reached 11,000 after two earthquakes of 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude struck 12 hours apart on Monday.
Tens of thousands are injured and homeless as rescuers race against time to find survivors in mountains of rubble.
Thousands of buildings collapsed and aid agencies are particularly worried about northwestern Syria, where more than 4 million people were already relying on humanitarian assistance.
Freezing weather conditions are further endangering survivors and complicating rescue efforts, as more than 100 aftershocks have struck the region.