Europe

Istanbul rescuers pull girl, 5, from rubble after building collapse

Rescuers carry a young girl on a stretcher at the site of a collapsed residential building in the Kartal district, Istanbul, Turkey, 7 February 2019 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Havva Tekgöz, 5, was pulled alive from the rubble after talking to rescuers

Rescuers in the Turkish city of Istanbul have found a five-year-old girl alive among the rubble of a building 18 hours after it collapsed.

The girl, discovered under a mound of debris at what was once an eight-storey apartment block in the city's Kartal district, was taken to hospital.

At least six people have died and a dozen more were injured in the disaster on Wednesday afternoon.

It is still not known what caused the building to collapse.

The property was officially home to 43 people living in 14 flats, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said.

According to Mr Yerlikaya, the top three storeys of the building had been added illegally.

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

Speaking to reporters just moments before the girl was pulled from the rubble, the governor said that rescuers had "spoken to a girl named Havva".

"They are talking to her right now. Hopefully, with your prayers and their efforts we will reach this girl," he said.

Later on Thursday afternoon, Mr Yerlikaya said the official death toll had risen to six.

"I came here to say that we have reached three lifeless bodies and transferred them to hospital," he told reporters, adding to the three found dead in the immediate aftermath.

He said that 13 people were injured - an increase of one from the morning - and three were being treated in intensive care.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Rescuers continued to search the rubble on Wednesday night

Rescuers worked through the night to search the rubble for survivors.

According to CNN Turk, the building collapsed at about 16:00 local time (13:00 GMT). Turkey's Andalou news agency, meanwhile, reported that a portion of the roof collapsed again while searchers worked.

As they searched, rescuers occasionally appealed for quiet to listen for any sounds coming from underneath that might indicate people trapped.

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