Dozens dead after fire at Istanbul nightclub, Turkish officials say

2 April 2024, 19:14

Turkey Fire
Turkey Fire. Picture: PA

The nightclub was undergoing renovations when the fire broke out.

A fire at an Istanbul nightclub during renovations on Tuesday killed at least 29 people, officials and reports from Turkey said.

Several people, including managers of the club, were detained for questioning.

At least one person was being treated at a hospital, the Istanbul governor’s office said in a statement.

The Masquerade nightclub, which was closed for renovations, was on the ground and basement floors of a 16-story residential building in the Besiktas district on the European side of the Turkish city bisected by the Bosphorus.

The fire was extinguished.

Governor Davut Gul told reporters at the scene that the cause of the fire was under investigation and the victims were believed to be involved in the renovation work.

At least 29 people were killed, officials said
At least 29 people were killed, officials said (Khalil Hamra/AP)

The private DHA news agency identified one of the victims as a nightclub employee.

Video from the scene showed flames billowing from the side of the building, firefighters dousing an entrance to the club and others carrying a victim on a stretcher toward an ambulance. Several firefighting trucks were called to the scene.

Private NTV said some of the victims died in hospital after being pulled out of the blaze.

Authorities detained eight people for questioning, including managers of the club and one person in charge of the renovations.

The government has appointed three prosecutors and several investigators to probe the case.

Firefighters work in the aftermath of a fire in a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey
Firefighters work in the aftermath of a fire in a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey (Khalil Hamra/AP)

The nightclub – which had a capacity to host up 4,000 guests, according to its website – was closed for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. Its owners were trying to complete the renovation work in time for next week’s Eid holiday, which follows the month of fasting.

“See you on April 10,” the club said in message posted on its website.

Police sealed off the area while power and natural gas to the neighbourhood was cut off as a safety precaution. Residents were safely evacuated from the building.

Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, who was re-elected in local elections on Sunday, said authorities were inspecting the entire building to assess its safety.

The nightclub had not obtained the necessary permit to undertake construction and renovations, the mayor said.

By Press Association

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