Emptied building collapses in Istanbul’s Bahçelievler district

Emptied building collapses in Istanbul’s Bahçelievler district

ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
Emptied building collapses in Istanbul’s Bahçelievler district

A seven-storied building in Istanbul’s Bahçelievler district collapsed on Feb. 14, causing damage on the adjacent buildings.

The 30-year-old building was evacuated last month due to security risks, so there were no residents in the building at the time of the collapse, the governor’s office said.

Firefighters and the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) teams rushed to the scene to check if any passersby were trapped under the wreckage. Residents of the adjacent buildings were evacuated immediately.

A couple of waste collectors were said to be using the basement of the building as a depot without a permission, Bahçelievler Mayor Hakan Bahadır told private broadcaster CNN Türk.

“AFAD has brought sniffer dogs and a detectaphone to check if there’s anyone under the debris,” he said.

About 35 percent of the 22,000 buildings in the district were constructed in accordance with the new strict regulations adopted after the deadly 1999 Marmara earthquake, according to Bahadır.

“We have speeded up the process of urban transformation in cooperation with the Environment and Urbanization Ministry,” said Bahadır.

More than 18,000 people were killed on Aug. 17, 1999 when a 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Kocaeli and Sakarya provinces, according to a 2010 parliamentary investigation. Over 900 of the casualties occurred in Istanbul, which was some 124 kilometers away from the earthquake epicenter.