Death toll in Istanbul building collapse rises to 21: interior minister

11 February, 2019, 09:27 | Author: Wade Massey
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As the overall death toll rose to 18, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there were "many lessons to learn" from the tragedy.

The death toll from the collapse of an apartment building in Istanbul has risen to 15, a Turkish government minister said on Friday.

He said the government would take "determined" steps after investigators complete their work and called for speedy urban renewal.

"We estimate that there were 35 people trapped under the rubble and we have now accounted for 35", he said while stressing that search operations would continue as before. It was not immediately clear what caused the building.

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The collapse fanned criticism of a government amnesty granted past year to people accused of an illegal building - a measure announced ahead of municipal elections this March. Istanbul, Turkey's biggest city of more than 15 million people, is also located on a seismic belt.

On Saturday, 9 members of Alemdar family - who all died during the collapse of the building - were buried today in a cemetery in Pendik district. Chief Doctor Recep Demirhan says that two are in very serious condition, according to Turkey's official Anadolu news agency.

Rescue teams were last night still searching the rubble of an apartment block in Istanbul after a local official warned that there could have been as many as 30 people inside when it collapsed on Wednesday.

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

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