Babies pulled from earthquake rubble flown to safety in presidential plane

Babies found in the rubble after the Turkey earthquakes have been transported to safety in a presidential plane.

President Erdogan’s aircraft was used to take 16 babies from Kahramanmaras to Ankara, as the death toll from the devastating quakes climbed to 15,000.

Pictures show them being cradled on the laps of women in the luxury jet, which is also being used to carry critically injured people to the Turkish capital for treatment.

All of the babies on board were collected by government foster mothers when it landed at Esenboga Airport.

Two of the babies still remain unidentified after they were pulled from the debris.

The 14 others have been identified but authorities have not managed to reach their families.

They were taken to Etlik City Hospital, where the Turkish President’s wife Emine Erdogan met them.

More than 15,000 people have died in the two earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria – the world’s deadliest for more than a decade.

Anger has mounted over the slow response to the disaster amid fears as many as 180,000 people could be buried – while satellite photos lay bare the scale of the destruction.

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Turkey has so far reported 12,873 deaths, with more than 60,000 people injured.

On the Syrian side of the border, 3,162 people have been confirmed dead and more than 5,000 injured.

Tens of thousands are thought to have lost their homes.

In Antakya, residents of a collapsed building huddled around an outdoor fire overnight into Thursday, wrapping blankets tightly around themselves to try and stay warm.

Experts said the survival window for those trapped under the rubble was closing rapidly.

At the same time, they said it was too soon to abandon hope.

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