Building contractors arrested in Turkey as earthquake death toll passes 33,000

12 February 2023, 16:25

The death toll from Monday's earthquakes has surged past 33,000
The death toll from Monday's earthquakes has surged past 33,000. Picture: Getty

By Kieran Kelly and Adam Solomons

Turkish police have arrested dozens of contractors involved in "shoddy and illegal" buildings where tens of thousands have died in the nation's deadly earthquake.

Thousands of buildings have collapsed since the earthquake struck, with Turkish officials confirming they have detained or issued warrants for more than 100 people accused of questionable construction practices.

It is alleged the construction work left many homes and buildings vulnerable to tremors.

More than 33,000 people have since died in southern Turkey and northern Syria.

Read more: Girl, seven, rescued after five days under rubble as Turkey Syria earthquake deaths cross 28,000

Read more: ‘No-one to call mum or dad’: Turkish caller appeals to govt to make refugee scheme for earthquake victims

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit as people slept
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit as people slept. Picture: Getty

It is the deadliest earthquake since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti in which around 150,000 people died.

Tremors were felt as far as Israel, Cyprus and Lebanon.

The 72-hour window in which survivors are most likely to be found alive has long since passed.

But there is still stories of people being rescued alive more than 100 hours after the earthquake struck.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accepted that there were some problems with the government's initial response to the disaster.

Erdoğan pledged Turkey "will rebuild" and apologised to survivors as they struggle to rescue everyone who remains trapped."It is not possible to explain the grief we have. I know words are not enough," he said.

Professor Sengor: Political corruption led to buildings being destroyed in Turkey's earthquake

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