At least 14 people are confirmed dead and hundreds left injured as 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Albania leveling buildings, trapping people in the rubble and sparking panic among residents.
Rescue crews are using excavators in a desperate search for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings to rescue victims from piles of rubble left by the 6.4-magnitude quake, which struck at 3:54am local time.
Defence ministry spokeswoman Albana Qehajaj said the bodies of two people were recovered from a collapsed building in the coastal city of Durres, 20 miles west of Tirana.
One more person had been found dead in the same building earlier in the morning, while two bodies were removed from the rubble of a collapsed building in Thumane.
Another man died after jumping from his home to escape the tremor in Kurbin, 30 miles north of the capital.
Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu said 300 people were treated for injuries in Durres, Tirana and Thumane.
The epicenter was around 20 miles west of the heavily populated capital city of Tirana, between the coastal town of Durres and the city of Thumane, both of which suffered severe damage.