Unsafe Istanbul high-rise collapses

At least one person dies as a block of flats collapses.

    Rescue teams dug survivors out of the wreckage after the building collapsed  [Reuters]
    It was not clear how many people were inside when the building came down. Muammer Guler, the Istanbul governor, said at least 27 people were still living there at the time.
     
    Rescue teams with dogs dug survivors out of the rubble after the building fell shortly after midnight.
     
    Late-night collapse
     

    Guler said 26 people had been rescued and were being treated in hospital, among them a seriously injured child.

     

    He said: "We think maybe just a few more people remain buried."

     

    Ali Karahan, chief of Istanbul's fire department, said some residents managed to escape when the building began crumbling and those who were injured were all trapped in the stairwell.

     

    A municipality worker and the owner of a coffee shop in the basement of the building, alerted the residents by ringing the bells, shouting and throwing pebbles at the windows, saving many lives, the authorities said.

     

    The building was one of 16,000 in Zeytinburnu
    district that need to be demolished [EPA]

    A municipality worker who was walking in the street by chance saw the building rocking and alerted the residents by shouting and throwing stones at the windows, Topbas said.

     

    Ilhan Karadeniz, the owner of the coffee shop, said he woke up his neighbours when he noticed that the building was shaking.

     

    Witnesses told Turkish television the building had been damaged in the earthquake in 1999 which killed about 18,000 people west of Istanbul. Media reports suggested that its foundations might have been weakened by an adjacent construction.

     

    No regulation

     

    Corruption, lack of building regulations and shoddy construction have been blamed for building collapses in Turkey in the past.

     

    Poor construction was also blamed for many of the deaths in two 1999 earthquakes in western Turkey. Experts say little has been done to address the problem.

     

    Several contractors who were charged with negligence for ignoring building codes escaped punishment this week when statute-of-limitations expired in all ongoing cases that were filed in 1999.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.