Turkey building collapse death toll rises to 18

11 February, 2019, 09:27 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Experts from the Istanbul branch of the chamber of civil engineers who visited the site concluded that the “load-bearing columns had lost the capacity to carry the weight” of the building the group said in a statement Thursday

The death toll from the collapse of an apartment building in Istanbul rose to 21 on Saturday, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said authorities have "lessons to learn" from the incident.

In Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also expressed condolences for the victims of the collapse.

The collapse took place at around 4pm on the Asian side of Istanbul in the mostly residential Kartal district.

Earlier, health minister Fahrettin Koca increased the death toll to 17.

Turkish officials blamed illegal construction practices for the collapse of an apartment building in Istanbul as they joined hundreds of mourners Saturday at a funeral for nine members of one family killed in the disaster.

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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. He said rescuers had reached another person under the rubble, who was thought to be dead.

Officials have not disclosed how many people are still unaccounted for.

There were 14 apartments and a total of 43 residents in the building, which was originally built 27 years ago.

Turkish media said three of the seven floors had been illegally built.

The collapse fanned criticism of a government amnesty granted a year ago to people accused of an illegal building - a measure announced ahead of municipal elections this March. In January 2017, two people died when another building collapsed in a working class part of town.

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