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Mother begs Albanian earthquake rescuers to let her die with her child

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… says she doesn’t want to suffer fatal haemorrhage in hospital

Mother begs Albanian earthquake rescuers to let her die with her child
Diena Mecaj Karanxhaj – Picture source: Daily mail

An Albanian mother pleaded with rescuers to let her die when she was found with her daughter’s dead body in the rubble of the country’s worst earthquake in decades, before she herself suffered a fatal haemorrhage on the way to hospital.

Diena Mecaj Karanxhaj, 30, was found still alive with the body of her eight-year-old daughter Esiel after a six-storey building collapsed in the city of Durres.

Reports in Albania say she pleaded with rescuers to let her die, saying: ‘Don’t take me out, I want to die in my daughter’s arms’.

Despite her protests, she was taken to hospital but is believed to have died of a haemorrhage hours after her daughter.

The mother’s husband had also died of a heart attack in 2015 she had devoted her life to raising their young daughter alone, reports say. Both will be buried in bridal gowns.

The family tragedy came as hopes faded today of finding any more survivors of the 6.4-magnitude earthquake which has killed at least 41 people.

Hundreds of aftershocks, some of them with magnitudes above 5.0, have brought further misery as Albanians begin to clean up the damage of destroyed buildings.

Three more bodies were hauled out overnight in the port city of Durres, 20 miles west of the capital Tirana.

In the neighbouring town of Thumane, where 22 have died, searching was called off after six more bodies were discovered under an apartment building.

More than 650 people were injured in the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck before dawn on Tuesday.

Italy, Greece, Romania and others rushed teams in and they are searching for survivors as 530 aftershocks continued rocking buildings and scaring people.

READ ALSO: At least six dead, 150 injured after most powerful quake in decades strikes Albania

Berti Lala, 40, watched Italian rescue officers in the search for his twin son and daughter, barely two, his boy of six, his wife and paralysed older brother.

They were all on the second floor of a collapsed four-storey house, built in reclaimed marshland in Durres, Albania’s main port.

His other daughter, Amelia, 8, his mother Sehadete, 79, and his niece Griselda, 23, were trapped and killed by the collapsing walls. His nephew Rame, 17, was pulled out alive

Working incessantly and methodically, the Italians drilled off chunks of concrete to be removed by hand.

Afterwards a team of Albanian soldiers shovelled debris away energetically. A mechanised digger was called to move off more.

They stopped to poke lights into a furrow. No luck. Chipping off chunks of wreckage resumed. For a time only the crackle of shards of brick was heard in the night. The Italian team leader directed the Albanian digger operator with hand gestures.

Shortly before 4am, a clothes hanger, blue and orange towels and a toolbox appeared.

A plastic shower base and a tiled wall were uncovered later, a sign the excavators had reached the third floor, above where the toddlers were trapped. The digger’s forked bucket lifted a slab for the Italians to look below.  (Daily Mail)

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