A grieving family who flew from the UK for a funeral found themselves in the middle of a disaster after getting caught up in the Turkey earthquake.
Eylem Yildiz travelled to Besni for Wednesday’s ceremony from Swindon, Wiltshire, with three relatives after her father died on Tuesday, 31 January.
Daughter Busra Yildiz, who lives in Cardiff, stayed in the UK to look after her sisters.
Busra’s mum, aunt, uncle and one-year-old cousin were to return last week.
But bad weather meant their journey home was delayed.
When two earthquakes struck on Monday, the apartment block they were staying in was reduced to rubble.
Busra’s boyfriend Sam Thomas said: “They were all grieving for their lost grandfather, then this happened.”
Eylem has yet to be found, while Busra’s grandmother, Saadet Onder, and three other family members from Turkey are also missing.
Her aunt Emine Onder-Nizan, her uncle, Engin Onder-Nizan and cousin Mete Onder-Nizan – who all travelled from the UK – have been found.
The death toll from the disaster is now approaching 24,000.
The carnage unfolded when a 7.8 magnitude quake struck near Gaziantep, and was followed by multiple aftershocks.
One, almost as large as the first, measured 7.5 magnitude.
Busra, who was born in Besni and brought up in Swindon, travelled on Monday to Turkey to help.
Mr Thomas, from Bridgend, said: “On Tuesday there were signs of life, they think they heard their grandmother because there were noises coming from the building.
“They were able to speak to the aunt on Wednesday. Then everything went quiet.”
The 24-year-old said signs of life had been detected with heat-sensitive cameras.
A lack of machinery meant people were digging through rubble by hand.
He called the situation “complete carnage”.
Mr Thomas, a web designer, said: “It’s just heartbreaking to know they can hear people in there.
“This week Busra has seen childhood friends and family being pulled out dead.
“She has seen dead children. I cannot imagine what she is feeling like.”
The UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee’s raised £32.9m on its first day, including £5m matched by the UK government, for Turkey and Syria.
Busra, 24, has been sleeping in a “fabricated pod”. Her boyfriend said: “She is so strong, I don’t know how she does it.”
He praised his girlfriend for being “so brave”.
“I am praying they are all alive and hoping they will all come out,” Mr Thomas said.
“I really want my loved ones out of that building.
“I believe in my heart of hearts they are going to be found and they are going to be okay.
“They are all religious people and strong women. It is breaking my heart they are being put through this.”
Brazil and Switzerland have called for the UN Security Council to meet next week to discuss its response to the situation in Syria, which was also affected.
Mr Thomas said he was feeling “pretty horrendous”, and he is being supported by friends and family.
“This has been the worst five days of my life, it feels like one big day,” he said.
“It’s not my blood family, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to have my mum trapped there in a building.”