Rescuers sing to soothe little girl trapped under the rubble of her house

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This is the heart-warming moment a group of volunteers sing to a young girl who is stuck under the rubble of a collapsed building in Syria.

Volunteers from the White Helmets – also known as the Syria Civil Defence – sang to the girl as she was given treatment after being hurt in the earthquake earlier this week.

It is believed around 17,000 people were killed when the 7.8 magnitude quake hit Syria and Turkey on Monday.

Touching footage shared online by the White Helmets – a group of volunteers who risk their lives to help anyone in need – shows the girl receiving oxygen under bricks and mortar.

Known for their distinctive headwear, the rescue workers operate in the most dangerous place on earth and have saved more than 100,000 lives over the past five years.

Former bakers, tailors, engineers, pharmacists, painters, carpenters, students and many more professions besides, the White Helmets are volunteers from all walks of life.

Many have paid the ultimate price for their compassion – 252 have been killed while saving others.

Thousands of people are still believed to be trapped under the rubble in parts of both Turkey and Syria, with emergency crews working through the night to try and save those left.

In addition to 12,873 people killed in Turkey, the country’s disaster management agency said more than 60,000 have been injured.

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

Experts said the survival window for those trapped under the rubble or otherwise unable to obtain basic necessities was closing rapidly.

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

Steven Godby, a natural hazards expert at Nottingham Trent University said: ‘The first 72 hours are considered to be critical.

‘The survival ratio on average within 24 hours is 74%, after 72 hours it is 22% and by the fifth day it is 6%.’

According to the disaster management agency, more than 110,000 rescue personnel were now taking part in the effort and more than 5,500 vehicles, including tractors, cranes, bulldozers and excavators had been shipped.

Teams from more than two dozen countries have joined the local emergency personnel in the effort.

But the scale of destruction from the quake and its powerful aftershocks was so immense and spread over such a wide area that many people were still awaiting help.

The region was already beset by more than a decade of civil war in Syria. Millions have been displaced within Syria itself, and millions more have sought refuge in Turkey.

In Syria, aid efforts have been hampered by the ongoing war and the isolation of the rebel-held region along the border, which is surrounded by Russia-backed government forces. Syria itself is an international pariah under Western sanctions linked to the war.

The earthquake’s toll has already outstripped that of a 7.8-magnitude quake in Nepal in 2015, when 8,800 died.

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