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Rescuers uncover bodies of US couple still clinging to each other after moving to Turkey for IVF treatment

Rachel Lang

| Last updated 

Rescuers uncover bodies of US couple still clinging to each other after moving to Turkey for IVF treatment

Featured Image Credit: Mhvs Krst/Facebook. ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy.

The bodies of a US couple who had relocated to Turkey with the dream of starting a family have been uncovered in the wreckage of their own home, still clinging to each other in bed.

Alex and Veronika Ilgin were married in Orlando, Florida, last July before relocating to the Turkish town of Iskenderun.

The couple had moved to Turkey in late January to start their IVF journey while surrounded by Alex's extended family in his homeland.


But their dreams of having a family together were dashed in last week's 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

Latest figures at time of writing indicate the earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria has now left more than 33,000 dead.

The five-story building in which the newlyweds lived was flattened in the massive earthquake, Alex's best friend Vasilious Poulos told WESH 2.

"Alex's brother with the rescue team found him under the rubble and confirmed they were still in bed, confirmed they were holding each other in bed with concrete on top," Poulos said.


"They didn't even have a chance to get up, just maybe thinking, shaking, 'what's going on', and [then] lights out. He didn't deserve it.

"And Alex's brother dug up their mother the day before, so the mother died as well."

Poulos revealed the news of his best friend's death is yet to really hit home.

"I don't know what this feeling is, so I'm just waiting for the freight train to hit me," Poulos added.


Poulos added the couple had relocated to Turkey with dreams of starting a family, but instead had lost their lives.

"They didn't even get the good news they had been waiting for so long," he said.

Turkey has since issued 113 arrest warrants over building construction issues following the devastating earthquake that took thousands of lives.

Shocking footage from the deadly disaster shows buildings as they buckled and crumbled to the ground in both countries.


According to Turkey's Environment Minister Murat Kurum, 24,921 buildings across the region either collapsed or were damaged in the quake.

Building quality in a country that lies on several seismic fault lines has come into sharp focus in the aftermath of the quake.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said 131 suspects had so far been identified as responsible for the collapse of some of the thousands of buildings flattened in the 10 affected provinces.

"We will follow this up meticulously until the necessary judicial process is concluded, especially for buildings that suffered heavy damage and buildings that caused deaths and injuries," he said.

Topics: News, US News, World News

Rachel Lang
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