Death toll in Turkey building collapse rises to 17

According to the Turkish Ministry of Health, thirteen people still remain in the hospital.

    Fourteen apartments housing at least 43 occupants were registered at the site [Kemal Aslan/Reuters]
    Fourteen apartments housing at least 43 occupants were registered at the site [Kemal Aslan/Reuters]

    The death toll from a building collapse in the Turkish city of Istanbul has risen to 17.

    According to the Turkish Ministry of Health, 13 people still remain in hospital following the collapse of the building on Wednesday.

    Two days after the collapse, rescue workers managed to save a 16-year-old boy from the rubble.

    Fourteen apartments, housing at least 43 occupants were registered at the site, the city's governor said this week

    However, the top three floors of the building were built illegally, the governor added.

    On top of that, a textile workshop was operating without a licence at the entrance.

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    "There are lessons we need to learn," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, offering his condolences to the victims of the family members on Saturday.

    "In this area, we have faced a very serious problem with illegal businesses like this done to make more money," Erdogan said.

    Seven buildings in the surrounding area were evacuated for security reasons following Wednesday's collapse.

    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.

    Friends and relatives waited near the wreckage for news of their missing loved ones as emergency teams, aided by sniffer dogs, worked around the clock to reach possible survivors.

    Officials haven't disclosed how many people are still unaccounted for.

    After the prosecutor's office said it was looking into the cause of the incident, Turkish television stations immediately ended their live broadcasts from the scene.

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

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies