Building collapses in Istanbul’s Kağıthane
A four-story building collapsed April 22 in Istanbul’s Kağıthane district after a retaining wall at a construction site tumbled down.
With the collapse of the retaining wall, the earth underneath nearby buildings also washed away, leaving them hanging from a cliff.
Authorities ordered the evacuation of the nearby buildings and cordoned off the area.
One of these buildings later collapsed mid-April 22 before a large crowd of onlookers and television crews, which live broadcast the moment of collapse. The collapse also plunged parked vehicles into the working pit.
Police, firefighters and health workers were quickly dispatched to the scene. No one was injured or killed in the collapse.
A statement released by the Istanbul Governor’s Office said that the residential building located on Akıncı Street collapsed at exactly 2:15 p.m. “In the morning hours, the residents of the building were evacuated and it was cordoned off, there is no one injured or killed in the incident. Ten buildings near the collapsed building which are at risk have been evacuated and the necessary safety measures have been taken,” said the statement.
The incident comes more than two months after a seven-story block in the Kartal district on the Asian side of the city collapsed.
Twenty-one amongst 35 people living in the building died after becoming trapped under the debris Feb. 6, while 14 were rescued and hospitalized.
Turkish media later said the collapsed apartment had a construction permit for only the first three floors, with the upper floors having been built illegally.
During a visit to the scene on Feb. 9, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: “We have a great number of lessons to learn from this. We will take the necessary measures.”
In February, Turkey’s Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum issued a circular to all municipalities to determine the most risk-bearing buildings and report their findings to the ministry, in a bid to accelerate urban transformation works.
“As part of the vision of 2023, our ministry was in need of a new approach to solve the problems encountered in the implementation of urban transformation, to improve the transformation process and to ensure that urban transformation in the settlement scale is managed in a holistic way,” Kurum said in the circular dated Feb. 19.
The minister has asked all provinces’ and districts’ municipalities to prepare documents on urban transformation strategies, specify especially the riskiest areas and submit their reports to the ministry in three months’ time.