QUEENS, New York (WABC) -- A family from Queens is among the thousands of people that were killed in a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria early Monday.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) confirmed the death of former board member, 35-year-old Burak Firik, his 32-year-old wife Kimberly and his 1-year-old and 2-year-old sons.
"It is with sadness we announce that former CAIR-NY Board Member, Burak Firik, and his wife and two baby children, passed away in the earthquake in Turkey," CAIR-NY said in a statement. "We pray for Allah's mercy for our brother Burak, his family, and all those who have returned to our Creator. Ameen."
The Firik family, from Corona, Queens, was in Turkey for over a month visiting family.
The family was on the fifth floor of an apartment building in Kahramanmaras, Turkey when the building collapsed during the earthquake.
The death toll surpassed 15,000 on Wednesday, according to officials, with nearly 63,000 reported injuries.
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The pre-dawn quake was centered in the town of Pazarcik in Turkey's southeastern Kahramanmaras province and was followed by several powerful aftershocks.
Thousands of buildings were toppled on both sides of the border, and the death toll was expected to rise as rescue workers searched for survivors in the massive piles of rubble.
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