Death toll rises in Istanbul building collapse



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 death toll from the collapse of an apartment building in Istanbul rose to 21 on February 9, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said authorities have "lessons to learn" from the incident.

Erdogan, visiting the site on February 9, said: "We have a great number of lessons to learn from this". Suleyman Soylu said early Saturday that another body had been found in the rubble. He said rescuers had reached another person under the rubble, who was thought to be dead.

The cause of the tragedy is under investigation but officials have said the top three floors of the eight-story building were built illegally.

The seven-storey block in the Kartal district on the Asian side of the city collapsed on February 6 but the cause is not yet clear.

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Erdogan also visited a hospital where more than a dozen people are being treated.

Turkish media said three of the seven floors had been illegally built. They have criticized a government decision to grant amnesty for illegal construction a year ago ahead of the country's general election.

Authorities haven't disclosed how many people remain unaccounted for. Chief Doctor Recep Demirhan says that two are in very serious condition, according to Turkey's official Anadolu news agency.

Fourteen apartments, housing at least 43 occupants were registered at the site, the city's governor said this week.

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