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Turkey: Istanbul building fire kills dozens during construction work

The Istanbul governor said the fire took place in the Gayrettepe neighbourhood in the Besiktas district of central Istanbul
Recently re-elected Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu was quick to arrive at the scene of the fire (Ekrem Imamoglu)

A fire in an Istanbul building killed dozens of people and injured eight others on Tuesday. 

Istanbul's governor, Davut Gul, confirmed the incident and said the fire took place in the Gayrettepe neighbourhood of Turkey's largest city.

"Although the fire was put out thanks to the firefighters' response, 29 people lost their lives in the incident. Three people are in hospital with severe injuries," Gul's office said in a statement. 

Those wounded had "been transferred to hospitals in the region" and "an investigation is underway" officials added. 

Gul told reporters that the blaze had broken out during construction worth in the basement of a 16-story building in Gayrettepe, part of central Istanbul district Besiktas. 

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Turkey's Justice Minister, Yilmaz Tunc, confirmed that five people had been arrested and that prosecutors had been assigned to look into the incident. 

"The investigation is meticulously continuing in all its aspects." Tunc wrote on the social media platform X. 

Turkey's public Anadolu Agency later put the number of people detained at six.

Earlier, newly re-elected Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu rushed to the scene to offer his condolences and said the basement had housed a nightclub. 

Imamoglu said that the "fire is under control" and hoped "there are no further victims" from the building fire. 

The fire comes just days after the Istanbul mayor secured a second term in office after beating his AK Party rival Murat Kurum in local elections.

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