Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

'Thirty trapped' in rubble of collapsed Istanbul apartment block

'Thirty trapped' in rubble of collapsed Istanbul apartment block

Rescue workers carry 5-year old girl Havva Tekgoz, is carried to a waiting ambulance after she was pulled from the rubble of an eight-story building, approximately 18-hours after it collapsed, in Istanbul, Feb. 7, 2019.

Authorities haven't disclosed how many people remain unaccounted for.

It was not immediately clear why the building, in the Kartal district on the Asian side of the city, had collapsed.

Video from the scene showed dozens of people sifting through the rubble while emergency services co-ordinated relief efforts. Three of them were in serious condition, Yerlikaya said.

Security camera footage on HaberTurk television showed several people, including schoolchildren with backpacks, running away from the site as the building tumbled down and a cloud of dust engulfed the area.

Cevizli local headman Memiş Dikilitaş told Turkish broadcaster NTV that there was no explosion preceding the collapse, but that the building, which was very old, collapsed on its own.

'We rushed out as soon as we heard a loud noise.

According to the governor, the top three storeys of the building had been added illegally. Additional rescue teams were on their way from Sakarya and Bursa provinces to provide additional support.

Authorities sealed off the area as crowds gathered to watch or help with the rescue operation.

Turkey's broadcasting watchdog later announced the prosecutor's office had ordered a media blackout, citing the ongoing investigation into the collapse.

Turkish television stations then immediately ended their live broadcasts from the scene.

There were 14 apartments and a total of 43 residents in the building, which was originally built 27 years ago.

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