Istanbul rescuers find teenager alive in building collapse

Victims react and cry at the siteImage copyright EPA
Image caption The confirmed death toll rose substantially on Friday

Rescuers in the Turkish city of Istanbul have pulled a teenage boy alive from a residential building almost two days after it collapsed.

An eight-storey apartment block collapsed in the city’s Kartal district on Wednesday afternoon.

Officials say the official death toll has risen to 14. Almost a dozen more people are still thought to be missing.

Rescuers have been searching through the night to find anyone still alive inside the complex’s wreckage.

The 16-year-old boy was found alive on Friday, reportedly after rescuers heard him call for help from inside the rubble.

The rescue comes one day after a five-year-old girl was saved from the collapse.

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Media captionRescuers search through the rubble in the city’s Kartal district

“So far 14 of our fellow citizens have been lost and another 14 people have been brought out of the rubble alive,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told a news conference on Friday.

Several buildings surrounding site of collapse were evacuated on Thursday for security reasons, as investigations into the collapse continued.

The city’s governor has said that three of the building’s top floors were built illegally. A textile workshop had also been in operation inside the building without a license.

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The incident has led to renewed criticism within Turkey about poorly enforced building regulations.

Following the collapse, opposition newspapers have hit out at recent laws enacted by the Turkish government that granted official status to illegal construction, BBC Monitoring reports.

That law allowed citizens to apply to legalise unlicensed properties under a “Zoning Peace” regulation.

One headline, in the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, said: “They pardoned, citizens died”.

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