Dead in Istanbul Building Collapse, Governor Says

Rescue workers and people try to remove debris of a seven-story building which collapsed in Istanbul Wednesday Feb. 6 2019. A seven-story building collapsed in Istanbul on Wednesday killing at least one person and trapping several others inside the

Dozens feared trapped after apartment block collapses in Istanbul (PHOTO, VIDEO)

The building, located in Istanbul's Kartal district, collapsed Wednesday while 30 residents were inside.

"At first I thought a gas tank had exploded in our building".

Dag added: "People are gone. Just like that disaster during the quake, this is the same".

Istanbul's governor, Ali Yerlikaya, said Thursday the search for survivors would continue "uninterrupted".

Prosecutors have begun an investigation into the incident and an Istanbul court issued a broadcasting ban, the country's top broadcasting authority, the Radio and Television Supreme Council, said in a statement.

"You don't need to be a civil engineer to guess (the result) of a probable quake", it said.

The engineering group and others have strongly criticised a government amnesty for illegal constructions introduced a year ago to bolster the ruling party ahead of elections.

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The incident was a stark reminder of the fragility of parts of Istanbul's residential infrastructure, with several buildings collapsing in recent years.

"Racing against time, the teams are working, making great sacrifices", said Yildirim, the current parliament speaker who is running for mayor of Istanbul in Turkey's March 31 local elections.

"In the event of an quake in Istanbul, we could be faced with a dire picture".

The chairman for Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said search and rescue operations were underway, adding that additional personnel would be requested from neighbouring provinces if necessary.

What caused the building to collapse remains unclear. Some 2.4 million people would be left homeless. Officials have not said how many more people are believed to be caught in the debris. Kurum told reporters Thursday that some apartments had guests at the time of the collapse, without providing details.

One four-storey structure crumbled previous year following violent thunderstorms and in January 2017, two people died when another building collapsed in a working class part of town. "Our citizens' lives and property are of paramount importance".

Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey.

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