A five-storey building has collapsed in dramatic fashion in the centre of Istanbul, but Turkish authorities say that no one was believed to be trapped under the rubble.
The building collapsed on Friday in a street near Istanbul’s pedestrian Istiklal Avenue, a main shopping district in the popular Taksim area.
Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin told reporters: “According to preliminary inspections there isn’t anyone inside.”
He added that people near the building realised that it was about to collapse because of the noise and warned people inside.
“Our hope is that there wasn’t anyone inside,” said the governor.
Local Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan said: “People in the car park felt the shaking and they made people vacate the area.” He said they had prevented a disaster.
Earlier, private news agency Dogan had said that people were believed to be trapped in the rubble.
The cause of the collapse was not immediately clear.
Pictures posted on social media after the incident showed a large cloud of dust rising from the site.[Source: Al-Jazeera]