The team began its rescue operation at the site of a high school in Antakya, the capital of Turkey's southeastern Hatay province, at around 5 a.m. Then it managed to save a man in his 70s after searching through debris. The ministry said the man did not lose consciousness with no serious injuries at the time of his rescue.
Korean relief workers also rescued four others, including a 40-year-old man, his two-year-old daughter, and a 35-year-old woman, from the rubble of a collapsed five-story residential building.
The ministry quoted a rescue worker as saying that the man and his daughter were in relatively good condition although they showed mild dehydration and a low temperature. The rescued woman was found to have sustained fracture in her fingers.
The workers continued their operation there together with search dogs, but failed to find more survivors trapped under debris, although some residents claimed that one or two more children could have been buried under the rubble.
The team is the largest-ever to be sent overseas by South Korea. It comprises of 62 firefighters, 49 soldiers, six workers of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and a civil servant of the foreign ministry.
On February 7, the Yoon Suk-yeol administration decided on the dispatch of the rescue team to join international efforts to help quake-torn Turkey and its people suffering the devastating effect of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, one of the strongest to strike the region in more than 100 years.
According to media reports, the death toll from the quake in Turkey and Syria surpassed 16,000 with more than 60,000 injured. The natural disaster has left a large number of people homeless and trapped untold numbers under debris in freezing temperatures.
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