Three days after the collapse of a high residential building in Istanbul as the death toll has risen to 18. It is likely that still more bodies were found, said interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Saturday. "If God wills it, we will come to our citizens under the rubble by," said Soylu. How many people were still missing, he did not say.
The house in the district of Kartal on the Asian side of the Turkish city, which had different information according to seven or eight floors, had fallen together on Wednesday afternoon for unknown reasons. On Saturday three bodies had been recovered, including that of a 44-year-old man and a one-year-old girl. According to a report of the state station, 14 people were TRT so far rescued out of the ruins. Seven of them were maintained on intensive care units in hospitals.
The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, visited on Saturday first of all, the site of the accident, and later some of the victims in a hospital. From the incident, Lessons should be drawn, he said to reporters.
Ten buildings in the neighborhood had been evacuated for security reasons, said the Minister of environment and urban planning Murat Kurum, on Saturday. The collapse the cause will still being investigated. First investigations have brought the use of lower quality building materials to light, said Kurum. He called on the residents to report to the authorities any possible risks.
Turkish media reported that the accident showed problems with illegal constructions. In addition, media noted reports on the vulnerability of the country to earthquake. Turkey has experienced in the past severe earthquakes. In the case of a quake close to Istanbul in 1999, more than 17 000 people were killed.
Erdogan confirmed on Saturday that the upper five floors of the building were created without planning permission. His government would take the necessary measures, the President said. (dpa)