At least 29 people died this Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in a fire in the basement of a residential building in Istanbulwhere work on a nightclub was taking place.

The incident took place at midday, according to the governor of Turkey’s economic capital, leaving black stains on the first four floors of the building that has sixteen, now evacuated.
Early in the evening, the governor’s office announced the end of the search for possible additional victims in the rubble.

“I lost four friends,” Fikret Kaya told AFPa man in his 40s who came to the scene with the grieving relatives of the victims in Istanbul.

At the entrance to the nightclub there was still a strong burning smell. and the Police maintained a large number of agents in the area.

According to the first information from the governor, Davut Gül, the fire started during construction work on a nightclub located in the basement of the building. All the workers are dead, he added.

There was no service in the club for Ramadan

“The club was closed during Ramadan,” explained a 46-year-old local resident, Erkan Karakoç.

Numerous emergency services and around twenty ambulances and fire trucks were mobilized. They were still parked in the street, blocking traffic and pedestrians.

At the street entrance, a short distance from the building, three firefighters, their faces and equipment stained with sootthey were sitting while another passed by with a blank look, helmet in hand.

According to the latest balance sheet, In addition to the deceased, there is an injured person who remains hospitalized in serious condition.

According to the governor, eight people were arrested, including the boss and manager of the nightclub, as well as the head of the metallurgical company responsible for the work.

“An investigation has been opened after the fire that occurred in Gayrettepe, in the Besiktas district of Istanbul,” announced the Minister of the Interior, Ali Yerlikaya, on the social network X.

What happened at Club Masquerade during the emergency?

Throughout the afternoon, the number of victims continued to increase. and most of the twelve seriously injured people initially announced died despite having been taken to hospital.

Club Masquerade, an establishment next to the Gayrettepe neighborhood in the central Besiktas district, has several stages and regularly hosts live concerts. It received its license in 1987, renewed in 2018, said Governor Davut Gül.

According to Gül, “the nightclub was well maintained and had been renovated.”

But local media questioned the legality of the works and said that the establishment, which could house between 1,500 and 2,000 people, It had no emergency exit, although it was in the basement.

Besides, Its support columns had been severed, making it particularly vulnerable in the event of an earthquake, according to the media.

The elected mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, who visited the site, confirmed that “the fire has been contained” and he offered his “condolences” to the families of the victims.


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