Published: Mon, February 11, 2019

Turkish president vows action after fatal building collapse

Turkish president vows action after fatal building collapse

Mourners attend the funeral prayers for nine members of Alemdar family killed in a collapsed apartment building, in Istanbul, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.

"The number of those who lost their lives has climbed to 15", Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, quoted by Hurriyet newspaper and DHA news agency.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the site where the eight-story building in Kartal district collapsed Wednesday, leaving at least 17 people dead.

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

Speaking to reporters at the site, Suleyman Soylu said that a total of 35 people were believed to be trapped under the wreckage and all of them were recovered.

A majority of buildings in Istanbul are "either unlicensed, illegal or were constructed without any engineering services", they added.

After the prosecutor's office said it was looking into the cause of the incident, Turkish television stations immediately ended their live broadcasts from the scene. Seven of the injured were still in serious condition on Saturday.

Two days after the collapse, rescue workers managed to save a 16-year-old buy from the rubble.

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.

Turkish authorities said 43 people were registered as living in the building.

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