The search and rescue team Hunor of the National Directorate General for Disaster Management (NDGDM) returned home from Türkiye in the wee hours of Monday, 13 February. The team has rescued 17 survivors – including three children – and retrieved 29 bodies from under the rubbles in earthquake-hit Türkiye. The military plane carrying the rescue team landed at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport shortly after Sunday midnight. Here, the homecomers were received, among others, by Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, MoI Parliamentary State Secretary Bence Rétvári and Lieutenant General Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi PhD, Chief of the Hungarian Defence Forces General Staff.
After welcoming the members of the team, in the presence of the press, the Minister of Defence thanked all those for their work who had participated in the rescue efforts.
The Hungarian people help in and outside the country – we have seen it in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, in the case of refugees arriving from Ukraine and now in Türkey, too, said Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, adding that the participants of the rescue operation worked to the best of their ability so they can help others.
The Minister of Defence emphasized that he is proud that those Hungarians who have been abroad give their knowledge, skills and courage whenever the country needs it. He also talked about the personnel of the Hungarian Defence Forces, who were present by contributing airplanes to the transportation, and also as Hungarian doctors.
The Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior said that the Hunor and the other Hungarian rescue units had accomplished a dangerous mission, but everyone had returned home safe and sound.
We are very grateful to them because they were doing the most important thing while rescuing lives under circumstances that are testing both physically and mentally, emphasized Bence Rétvári.
The State Secretary also thanked the participants, the disaster management staff and the emergency medical technicians for their work. They have shown that Hungary can help everyone and can provide help in any country in the world, he said.
The Hunor left Hungary for the earthquake-hit country on 6 February. The 55-member rescue team – consisting of firefighters, military doctors and the staff of the ambulance service – started working on 7 February, and continued doing so in the affected area until Sunday noon.
Gallery - Photo: Szebáld Szakál
Gallery - Photo: Tünde Rácz
Gallery - Photo: Gábor Nagy