‘My sister, she was sleeping next to me’: In Syria, 3-year-old child saved but loses his family

There are hundreds of children still under the rubble.
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Jandaris was severely damaged by the quake, which has killed at least 1,930 people in rebel-held northwestern Syria, according to rescue workers.

Rescuers working by torchlight pulled three-year-old Tariq Haidar from the rubble some 42 hours after a devastating earthquake destroyed his family home in the Syrian town of Jandaris. His family couldn’t be saved.

Orphaned by the earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey in the dead of night on Monday, Haidar was brought to a hospital where doctors were forced to amputate his left leg. They are trying to save his right.

“As soon as he woke up, and saw us in front of him, he asked: ‘Where is Miral?’. We asked ‘Who is Miral?’. He said: ‘My sister, she was sleeping next to me but she wasn’t answering me’,” said Malek Qasida, a nurse caring for him.

“They pulled out his father and two of his siblings before him, dead,” added Qasida, speaking at the hospital where Haidar was in intensive care, his amputated leg heavily bandaged.

The bodies of his mother and a third sibling were recovered from the rubble later, people in the area said. His removal from the wreckage was the latest in a series of eye-catching rescues caught on camera in the areas in Syria and Turkey hit by the earthquake.

Jandaris was severely damaged by the quake, which has killed at least 1,930 people in rebel-held northwestern Syria, according to rescue workers. The Syrian government says the toll in its part of the fractured country is 1,347.

The Syrian civil defence, the rescue service in the northwest, said on Thursday many families remain under the rubble. Qasida said: “There are hundreds of children still under the rubble.”

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