Turkey-Syria earthquake: Meet Romeo and Julie of Indian dog squad that saved 6-year-old, 3 days after quake hit

The dog squad was instrumental in detecting the little girl's whereabouts under tonnes of rubble

By ANI

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Published: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 11:34 AM

While India's National Disaster Response Force miraculously rescued a six-year-old girl and made headlines, a lot of the credit for the daring rescue ought to be reserved for Romeo and Julie, part of the NDRF's dog squad.

Romeo and Julie succeeded where machines failed. The dog squad was instrumental in detecting the little girl's whereabouts under tonnes of rubble. Without their help, the little girl could not have survived.

The NDRF is currently making an all-out effort to save lives and find a living soul in the rubble at the disaster site at Nurdagi and in different parts of Turkey which were badly affected by the earthquake on February 6.

Dog handler Constable Kundan explained how Julie found the little girl, who has been identified as Beren, alive first in the rubble at the Nurdagi site.

"We were asked by our government to facilitate search and rescue operations here in Nurdagi and we had a lead about a survivor trapped in the rubble. We asked Julie to go inside the rubble. She went in and started barking, which was a sign that she had detected a survivor trapped underneath," he told ANI.

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"For reconfirmation, we sent Romeo (Male Labrador) into the rubble and he also confirmed through barking that someone was, indeed, alive under the debris," another NDRF dog attendant told ANI.

However, no one knew about the condition and age of the living soul at that time. After several hours of the rescue operation, NDRF personnel succeeded in saving the life of 6-year-old Beren.

A six-story building collapsed and turned into rubble at the Nurdagi site where the NDRF is conducting search and rescue operations. Locals informed NDRF about surviving victims inside the debris after which Julie and Romeo were tasked to locate the surviving victims. The task was assigned and they succeeded.

Appreciating NDRF for saving the girl, Home Minister Amit Shah later tweeted, "Proud of our NDRF. In the rescue operations in Turkiye, Team IND-11 saved the life of a six-year-old girl, Beren, in Gaziantep city. Under the guidance of PM @narendramodi, we are committed to making @NDRFHQ the world's leading disaster response force. #OperationDost."

India announced 'Operation Dost' shortly after the magnitude 7.8 quake ravaged Turkey and sent a team from the Indian Army to set up 60 Para Field Hospital and the NDRF for search and rescue operations, including relief and humanitarian assistance to the 'Dost' country.

More than 34,000 people have lost their lives, so far, due to strong tremors from the earthquake and the search and rescue operation is ongoing even after 7 days.


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