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Girl Lives 4 Days in Turkey Rubble

August 21, 1999

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) _ Defying ever dwindling odds, a 10-year-old Israeli girl who had been buried under the rubble of her family’s summer house for four days was pulled out alive _ and thirsty for a soda _ by an Israeli rescue team today.

Shirin Franko was reportedly in good condition after spending 98 hours in the wreckage of the 7-story building in Cinarcik, a small resort town about 30 miles across the Sea of Marmara from Istanbul.

Experts say people trapped in such situations usually can survive only 72 hours because of dehydration. This week’s sweltering heat only made conditions worse.

The girl’s mother, Iris, who had been rescued from the rubble a day after Tuesday’s quake by locals, was standing by anxiously as the Israeli rescue team carefully extracted her daughter from the ruins and placed her on a stretcher.

The soldiers poured water over her head and a doctor gave her a quick exam, looking into her mouth and throat. She was extremely dehydrated but talkative, complaining that her eyes hurt and asking to be taken to a doctor, her mother said.

When rescuers asked her what she wanted, her answer was ``a Coke,″ the mother added.

The Franko family, originally from Turkey, was one of at least three Israeli families vacationing in the town, which offers sandy beaches and easy access to thermal springs used Roman times.

Rescuers have recovered the body of her twin brother, but her father and her grandparents are still buried and presumed dead.

Over 130 Israeli soldiers are working on the site, flown in from Israel with sniffer dogs, drills, and floodlights, allowing them to continue their searches throughout the night.

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