Building collapse in Istanbul, kills at least one and injures eight

Building collapse in Istanbul, kills at least one and injures eight

TV images showed firefighters shifting rubble by hand from the flattened five-story building in Kucukcekmece, on the city’s European side. Seven people were initially pulled from the debris, including two who were seriously injured, Istanbul Governor Davut Gul said while visiting the scene.

His office later said one more injured person was rescued and a body was recovered.

The governorship said the 36-year-old structure collapsed at 8:40 a.m. (0540 GMT). The cause was not immediately clear but there was no sign of an explosion or seismic activity. Only the top two floors were being used as residences, with the rest of the building being occupied by businesses.

Images from nearby CCTV showed the moment the building collapsed.

The collapse renewed fears about the resilience of buildings in a city prone to earthquakes.

More than 59,000 people were killed last year when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck parts of southern Turkey and neighbouring Syria. The disaster highlighted the poor enforcement of building regulations in Turkey.

Istanbul, with an official population of 16 million, lies near the North Anatolian Fault. A 1999 earthquake centred to the south of the city killed at least 18,000 people. The municipality has said there are 200,000 buildings housing three million people that are in urgent need of improvement.