A five-story apartment building collapsed early yesterday, killing at least two and injuring 26 others, the governor said.
Officials blamed the collapse on shoddy construction but could not provide an immediate explanation. It was not clear how many people were inside when the building came down after midnight. Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler said at least 27 people were living in the destroyed building.
A municipality worker and the owner of a coffee shop, in the basement of the building, alerted the residents by ringing the bells, shouting and throwing pebbles at the windows and saving many lives, authorities said.
"We think maybe just a few more people remain buried," under the destroyed building, Guler said.
Guler earlier said rescuers reported that a seven-year-old girl was pulled out dead but when she was taken to hospital, doctors said she was alive though barely breathing. Her face was covered in a white film of dust that was mostly crushed concrete when she was pulled out.
"She is alive and connected to a respiration machine," Guler said. The state-run Anatolia news agency identified the girl as Evin Demir, adding that she was in critical condition.
Guler said 26 people were hospitalized, including some who escaped from the coffee house.
There was no credible information about why the building collapsed but media reports suggested that its foundations might have been weakened by an adjacent construction. Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas confirmed that the building was listed as unsafe and one needed to be pulled down against a quake.
Ali Karahan, chief of Istanbul firefighter department, said some residents managed to escape the building when it began crumbling and those who were injured were all trapped in the stairway.
A municipality worker who was walking in the street by chance saw the building rocking and alerted the residents by shouting and throwing stones at the windows, Topbas said.
Ilhan Karadeniz, the owner of the coffee shop, said he woke up his neighbors when he noticed that the building was shaking.
"I was doing cleaning when I heard columns crumbling, I quickly rushed out and began ringing the bells," private Dogan news agency quoted Karadeniz as saying.
Teams, helped by sniffer dogs, were still working under floodlights to find out whether any other people were trapped under the rubble of the building. Rescuers were pulling away pieces of concrete with their bare hands.
Geologists have urged the Turkish government since 1999 to tear down some 50,000 buildings that would probably collapse if a big quake hits Istanbul.
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread
RISKY BUSINESS: The Chinese firm has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of 5G equipment not covered by US sanctions, but fears a wider ban could be announced in the UK Huawei Technologies Co believes it can supply 5G hardware unaffected by US sanctions to the UK for the next five years, sidestepping the expected conclusion of British emergency review on Tuesday. The company has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of kit, but fears a wider ban on its equipment is to be unveiled to placate rebel British Conservative Party lawmakers, who say that the Chinese supplier represents a national security risk. The British government on Friday said that it was “very likely” that British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden would make a statement to parliament on Tuesday
“Leaving a place that I love was very difficult. We’re all Hong Kong people who come out to protest because we love Hong Kong. But now we are forced to leave.” *Jay* is a former Hong Kong resident who attended many of last year’s protests, including on the front lines. He was arrested and charged with riot offenses, but fled the territory when he was being released on bail several months ago. He is now among dozens of Hong Kong residents seeking political asylum in Australia, and he has no expectation of returning home. “When I was taking the bus to the