Published: Mon, February 11, 2019

Death toll at Istanbul building collapse reaches 21

Death toll at Istanbul building collapse reaches 21

The death toll from the collapse of an eight-story building in Istanbul has risen to 21 while 14 others were injured, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has told Turkey's Demiroren news agency. In January 2017, two people died when another building collapsed in a working class part of the city.

Turkish media said three of the eight floors had been illegally built - a common practice in the metropolis of around 15 million people. The governor urged citizens to observe silence in the area of rescue operations and not cause disturbances for the rescuers.

Murat Kurum, the Turkish minister for environment and urban planning, said that a large amount of sea sand had been found in the concrete used for construction of a building, while only three floors were built under license.

The residential building, in the Kartal district on the Asian side of the city, collapsed on Wednesday.

The president also went to the hospital to talk to survivors, and then attended the funeral of the nine members of one family who lost their lives in the disaster. Five other members of the Alemdar family, including two children, remain hospitalized.

He said the government would take "steps in a determined way" after investigators complete their work.

"We have many lessons that we should learn here", Erdogan said.

Previosuly, the Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca stated that at least 17 people died due to the collapse.

The search will continue nevertheless, Soylu said on Saturday.

The building in Istanbul's mostly-residential Kartal district collapsed on Wednesday.

Officials haven't disclosed how many people are still unaccounted for.

Thirteen people pulled from the rubble have been hospitalized and seven remain in intensive care.

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