21 survive Turkey building collapse with no deaths
Twenty-one people survived being buried under heavy debris when a two-story building collapsed in eastern Turkey, the government said, with no fatalities reported as search operations ended early yesterday.
The incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon on a busy street in the city of Malatya, as residents filled shops on their way home from work.
"Search and rescue operations in the collapsed Malatya building have come to an end. Thank God there are no victims," Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu tweeted early yesterday.
Earlier, interior ministry spokesman Ismail Catakli said rescue workers had pulled 13 people from the rubble, while eight others managed to escape on their own.
Five of those rescued were still hospitalized, but their injuries were not life-threatening, regional governor Aydin Barus said.
He had earlier said two were taken to intensive care.
CCTV footage showed the building suddenly crumbling, shooting up a huge cloud of dust. Passers-by rushed to help those trapped.
Witnesses and media reports said the building crumbled during planned renovation work that resulted in damage to one of the walls separating two of the ground floor restaurants.
"I heard a crack first and then the building collapsed. A cloud of dust emerged. It was like judgement day," said witness Turhan Cobanoglu.