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Viral graphic image of man recovered from building collapse, NOT Christian Atsu

Claim: Social media users are sharing a photo of a man being rescued during a disaster. They claim it was taken when former Ghanaian international Christian Atsu was being recovered.

Verdict: DUBAWA Ghana’s search indicates that the photo was taken in Syria and not Turkey, where Christian Atsu was affected by the earthquake.

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Since Saturday, February 18, 2023, when it emerged that Ghanaian footballer, Christian Atsu, was among the casualties in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey, tributes have been pouring in. The former Newcastle man was found dead under the rubble about 12 days after the disaster, which killed thousands in Turkey.

His agent, Nana Sechere, communicated the news in a tweet.

Many, including the President of Ghana, have taken turns paying tribute and sharing comforting words with Atsu’s family on social media.

However, DUBAWA Ghana observed that some people are sharing a graphic image of someone being rescued from the rubble. It appears a concrete slab crushed the person. Many share the pictures in reference to Christian Atsu. They suggest the photo features him, which was taken during his body’s recovery from the rubble.

Some of the posts can be found here, here, here and here,


Google Reverse Image Search was used to find details about the photo, such as when it first appeared on the internet and possibly, the location where the image was taken. 

Some search results were about this month’s twin earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, where thousands have been reported dead. 

One such publication in which the image was used was credited ‘EFE’ for the photo. The publication was dated February 6, 2023.

A screenshot of the publication on www.mvsnoticias.com using the same image as what has gone viral.

Another publication we found, using the exact image, gave us more clarity regarding the image source. They credited ‘EFE/EPA/YAHYA NEMAH’. This publication also was dated February 6, 2023. 

It is worth noting that February 6, 2023, is the day the 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Turkey and Syria. 

A screenshot of the publication on Globalhappenings.com using the same image as what has gone viral.

When we browsed through the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) photo gallery, we found the image. The photograph was credited to Yahya Nemah and captioned “Earthquake aftermath in Syria.”

“A rescuer locates a person in the rubble of a building following an earthquake in Idlib province, Syria 06 February 2023,” their description of the image reads.

A screenshot of the image and description was found in the gallery of EPA.

Evidently, the image was taken prior to the discovery of the body of Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu.

Again, according to the photo owners, the image location is Syria and not Turkey, where the former Newcastle player was found under the rubble.


It is false for anyone to claim or suggest that the viral image features the former Ghanaian International. The photo was taken in Syria and not Turkey, where Christian Atsu was at the time of the disaster which claimed his life.

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