Brit couple trapped in earthquake-hit Turkey tell of ’24 hours of hell’

A British couple has spoken out about the terrifying moment they became trapped as an earthquake destroyed the Turkish city where the family were staying.

Dad Lemi, from Hull, was safe in Istanbul when the first quake began. But his wife Victoria and baby girl, Katelyn were in the city of Adana near the epicentre.

The security worker said his “blood froze” as he was forced to watch the earthquake strike through the baby monitor.

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The death toll is so far believed to be more than 11,000 people, with World Health Organization officials warnings the final figure could be as high as 20,000.

Lemi immediately drove to the disaster zone after watching the horror and dread unfold through his daughter's baby monitor.

Family friend Ellie Priestley has now set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations to help those affected by the catastrophe.

In a video, Lemi told Hull Live: “You hear a big bang. The baby wakes up and the dog was barking 10-15 seconds prior to it and Vicky wakes up and grabs Katelyn and runs downstairs.

“You can hear the whole building squeaking and that tapping noise. When you watch it your blood freezes.

“When I woke up at 7.30am (on Monday, February 6) my mother woke me up and explained the situation.

“I remained calm but when my wife sent me the video from the baby camera of what's happened and how terrified she was I said, 'I need to find a way to get to Adana'.”

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He hired a car and made the 12-hour drive to the disaster zone.

He continued: “In three different locations, I witnessed incidents where 20-30 vehicles were crashed and there were bodies everywhere. It was terrible."

Once he had safely located his family, he took them to stay with his grandparents in Mersin where the aftermath of the quake wasn’t as severe.

He added: “Evacuation is not even a subject because once the building collapses they’re already in it and some of them are still under it. Some of them have been rescued.

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“Some have been found dead. It’s still ongoing. It’s only been a day so the rescue is still ongoing. There are still many more apartments that have not been looked under.”

He, Victoria, and Katelyn are trying to stay warm and fed in their summer house in Mersin but it's far from comfortable and Lemi said they are "ready to leave if need be".

Lemi and Victoria plan to buy blankets, baby bodysuits, and nappies for the victims once they have gathered a "decent amount of money".

Their friend, Ellie Priestley from Kingswood in Hull, set up the Go Fund Me page on behalf of Lemi and Victoria.


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