Mustafa Ozturk, a rescue worker, is shouting, "Merve! Irem! Merve! Irem.". We've all been told to keep quiet around here. The search team is looking for two sisters who, according to other survivors, are still alive and trapped beneath the debris.
They listen for any response using sensitive devices. Everyone is waiting in utter silence.
A breakthrough then occurs. Are you hearing me, my dear Irem? I'm close by, Mustafa says.
While those of us who are observing can't hear it, it is now obvious that she is responding. We wait in silence with a small group of the girls' friends.
Keep your cool and respond to me, you are fantastic. Okay, so that's Merve. Merve dear, just respond to my inquiries, he commands.
In Antakya, southern Turkey, where their five-story apartment building was destroyed by the earthquake, Merve, 24, and her sister Irem, 19, were trapped beneath the debris. Two days had passed, but to them, those two days had felt like weeks.
Wednesday is here. You weren't imprisoned for 14 days, though. We need five minutes. You'll be sent out.
Although Mustafa is aware that it will take several hours, he cautions, "If they lose hope, they might not survive.
Irem and Merve begin joking and laughing together. If they had more room, they probably would dance, Mustafa says with a broad smile on his face.
According to the rescuers' calculations, it will take 2 meters (6 points 6 feet) to reach the sisters, but the operation of digging a tunnel through the concrete is very delicate, according to the rescue team's commander Hasan Binay. A catastrophe might result from one careless action.
In order to prevent the building from collapsing when they begin digging, a bulldozer is called to very slightly lift and hold the thick concrete.
"Later today, we'll give you girls blankets. Mustafa explains to the sisters. "Oh no, don't be concerned about us. We are not exhausted or chilly.
Merve is concerned about the rescuers' situation, according to Mustafa. The temperature is extremely low at 20:30 local time. One of the coldest winters people can recall occurred in this area.
With only their bare hands, the rescuers begin digging quickly and removing the debris.
However, after a few hours, we suddenly feel the ground tremble beneath us. The aftershock is very powerful. We must cease operations and depart the wrecked structure.
"This is the harsh reality. First and foremost, says Hasan, is the safety of our team.
Mustafa and the other three rescuers return to the area where they were digging after 30 minutes.
"Stop being afraid. Trust me, we won't abandon you here. Mustafa yells, "Come with me, and you'll take us out for a nice lunch. The girls believed they were abandoned and left to perish.
Now that it is midnight, the digging has started again. The group hasn't slept much in days. Around a little fire outside the building, we have gathered.
The word "sessizlik," which means silence, is occasionally shouted. Once the light is out, it is completely dark. They have drilled a tiny hole in the concrete to see if the girls can see the light coming from Mustafa's torch.
I am now sending a small camera down. "Merve! Irem! Do you see the light? OK! Perfect! If you tell me as soon as you see it, I'll tell you what to do.
Everyone is happy at this exact moment. Hasan joins the group to watch the girls on the tiny screen that is attached to their night vision camera. They can see Merve and Irem.
"You are so lovely. Restrain your movement. We can see Merve better thanks to Irem pulling the camera.
Irem is grinning as it appears on the screen. Fortunately, they can fit between the concrete blocks that are trapping them.
Everyone's faces glow with relief. The girls appear healthy, and at least Irem has room to escape if they widen the gap.
The team, however, quickly assumes a worried expression. Merve has informed them that she has begun to feel cold and that there is a weight on her feet.
Is this the first sign of hypothermia or do Merve's feet have gangrene, the doctors worriedly questioned.
Currently, it is about 5:00. The smallest team member can crawl down the tunnel without difficulty. Irem's hand could be held for a brief period of time by the rescuer.
Irem explains to the rescuers, "Our mother's body has begun to stink and we can't breathe properly. Days have passed with the girls lying next to their deceased mother.
It is startling. We thought how terrible it was that there could be times in life when you would not want your mother by your side.
One of Merve's friends, who is still waiting, anxious, and quiet, is asked by Hasan to show them the photo she has of the girls. They are attempting to calculate the width of the hole they will need to drill. In party dresses, the two girls are beaming as they celebrate a wedding.
"Perfect, let's get them out. Stretchers and thermal blankets are prepared by the medical staff. Everybody is energized. Irem arrives first at 6:30 a.m. At the same time, she is crying and laughing.
God be with you. Please also bring Merve out. She implores the rescuers to please. "Merve will come after. Hasan assures her, "I promise.
But it takes an additional tense 30 minutes to bring Merve out. They have to get her feet out from under the cement without hurting her. The procedure is successful.
When Merve is eliminated, everyone starts to applaud and cheer. I overhear Merve yelling in agony and then pondering, "Am I really alive?".
Mustafa responds with a smile, "You are dear.
Friends who have been present all night start shouting while crying. "Merve, Irem! We've arrived. Be not afraid. The sisters were transported to a field hospital in ambulances.
A chilling moment immediately follows this happy one. Once more, the rescuers demand silence from everyone. It's time to hang up now.
"Reply if you can hear me. If you are unable to respond, try touching the ground.
Hasan repeatedly begs in different directions. Sadly, he follows up by writing codes on the concrete with red spray so that other rescue teams won't search the structure.
"Saving a life is a wonderful feeling, but we wish there weren't any deaths. I can make out his expression of sadness.
I enquire, "Will you have lunch with Merve and Irem?". I hope we can someday, he grins. However, the fact that they are currently alive and in good hands is what matters most.