Istanbul building collapsed

A 7-story building collapses in a neighborhood in Istanbul

The building had been evicted last month for security reasons in fear of a collapse. Emergency teams are looking for possible victims trapped under the rubble.

A seven-story building collapsed on February 14th in the Bahçelievler district, on the outskirts of the European side of Istanbul, causing damage to several adjacent buildings although it is still unknown if there are victims.

The 30-year-old apartment block had in fact been evacuated last month for security reasons, so there was no person inside when the collapse occurred, authorities confirmed.

Several firefighters and the Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) also went to the site of the disaster in search of possible people who could have been trapped under the rubble because they were in the vicinity of the building at the time of the collapse, while residents of nearby buildings were evacuated from their homes.

Speaking to the CNN Türk news network, the mayor of the Bahçelievler district, Hakan Bahadır, said that according to some information there were a couple of people who were collecting garbage on the street who could have been using the lower floor of the building as an illegal warehouse, so AFAD sent several dogs to seek if anyone could have been trapped in the remains.

Bahadır added that about 35% of the 22,000 buildings registered in the district have been constructed according to the new and stricter building regulations that came into force in Turkey after the Great Marmara Earthquake of 1999, which caused more than 17,000 deaths, about 900 of them in Istanbul.