Deadly dormitory collapse in Turkey

At least 15 schoolgirls killed and 15 others feared trapped under rubble.

    A gas explosion is being blamed for the collapse of the dormitory [AFP]

    'Gas odour'

    The dormitory was being used by students aged eight to 16 who were taking part in a course of Islamic study.

    Merve Avci, a 13-year-old student who suffered slight injuries, told reporters she had smelled gas coming from downstairs to the upper floors, and then felt the explosion.

    "I was in the uncollapsed part of the building with five of my friends immediately after the explosion, and we felt flames rising from the downstairs to upper floors," she said, according to Anatolian news agency.

    "Before the explosion, I heard one of our teachers saying that a gas hose was not attached to its proper place in the kitchen," Avci said.

    Medical rescue teams were at the scene and had pulled out one of three girls they had established contact with under the rubble.

    "We think the collapse was caused by a gas canister explosion in the building, given the burns on the injured," Galip Sef, a Konya health service official, said, according to Anatolian news agency.

    The agency said the three-storey building belonged to a religious foundation.

    Al Jazeera's correspondent Hoda Abdel Hamid said the collapse occurred when most of the girls were still asleep.

    "Some girls told the local authorities they smelt gas odour in the dorm and one girl said the blast had occurred just after one of their fellow students turned on the switch light," she said.

    "Local authorities are saying that rescue operations are continuing, some sniffer dogs were brought in and the mayor said that he has heard some voices from under the rubble."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.