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Rescue operation in Istanbul after 8-story building collapses, killing one, trapping others under rubble

An eight-story residential building collapsed in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday, killing at least one person.

Some residents have been trapped inside the wreckage, but officials haven not provided the exact number of people under the rubble.

More than 40 people have been living in the building’s 14 apartments, the city’s governor Ali Yerlikaya said. It has one street-level ground floor and seven higher floors.

Rescue workers and people try to remove debris of a seven-story building which collapsed in Istanbul, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. A seven-story building collapsed in Istanbul on Wednesday, killing at least one person and trapping several others inside the rubble, Turkish media reports said.

Rescue workers and people try to remove debris of a seven-story building which collapsed in Istanbul, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. A seven-story building collapsed in Istanbul on Wednesday, killing at least one person and trapping several others inside the rubble, Turkish media reports said. (DHA via AP)

He added that the top three floors of the building were built illegally.

Authorities dispatched multiple rescue teams and medics to the Asian side of Istanbul, in the mostly residential Kartal district. Some rescue teams were also sent from neighboring provinces to assist with the operation.

Local Turkish media reported that at least one individual was brought out with injuries, while three other people were hospitalized earlier.

This frame made from video shows the site where a seven-story building collapsed, in Istanbul, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. A seven-story building collapsed in Istanbul on Wednesday, killing at least one person and trapping several others inside the rubble, Turkish media reports said.

This frame made from video shows the site where a seven-story building collapsed, in Istanbul, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. A seven-story building collapsed in Istanbul on Wednesday, killing at least one person and trapping several others inside the rubble, Turkish media reports said. (DHA via AP)

Zeki Dağ, the local headman of Orhantepe neighborhood, told CNN Türk about 15 are trapped under the rubble, though the figures hasn’t yet been officially confirmed, The Daily Sabah reported.

What caused the building to collapse remains unclear. An investigation has been launched into the circumstances, said the chief prosecutor’s office.

Cevizli local headman Memiş Dikilitaş told Turkish broadcaster NTV that there was no explosion before the collapse, noting that the building, which was old, collapsed on its own.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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