5-Year-Old Girl Rescued from Collapsed Building in Turkey

February 7, 2019

CONSTANTINOPLE — A top Turkish official says emergency teams are still “receiving sounds” suggesting signs of life from the under the rubble and are working to reach possible more survivors from the collapsed eight-story building in Constantinople.

Murat Kurum, the minister for environment and urbanization, would not say how many more people are believed to be trapped inside the wreckage.

The building had 14 apartments with 43 people registered as residents. Kurum told reporters Thursday that some apartments had guests at the time of the collapse, without providing details.

At least three people have been found dead in the rubble while 13 others were pulled out with injuries.

A 5-year-old girl was rescued from the rubble of the eight-story apartment building in Constantinople on Thursday, raising the number of survivors of the collapsed structure to 13. At least three people have been found dead.

The girl, Havva Tekgoz, was pulled from the debris about 18 hours after the building in the mostly residential Kartal district, on the Asian side of the city, collapsed. She was carried to a waiting ambulance on a stretcher with her neck in a brace, as one person in a crowd of onlookers chanted “God is great!”

Overnight, emergency services also rescued a 9-year old boy.

Authorities haven’t disclosed how many people remain unaccounted for. The building had 14 apartments with 43 people registered as residents.

Constantinople Gov. Ali Yerlikaya said earlier that three of the injured were in serious condition.

“All our prayers, all our hearts are with them,” Yerlikaya said in reference to people who may still be trapped. “We are continuing with our search and rescue efforts so that we can deliver good news (about survivors).”

The cause of the collapse was under investigation but officials said the top three floors had been illegally built.

Authorities evacuated seven surrounding buildings and one was under serious risk of collapse. The rescue operation was interrupted three times over fears that it might fall and harm rescuers, Yerlikaya said.

By MEHMET GUZEL , Associated Press

Associated Press writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara contributed to this report.


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