UPDATES WITH ADDITIONAL INFO
By Berk Ozcan
ISTANBUL (AA) – A 5-year-old girl was rescued Thursday from the rubble of a building in Istanbul, emergency officials said.
Havva Tekgoz remained buried underneath for nearly 18 hours, said Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya.
A seven-story building collapsed on Wednesday in Kartal district with some 30 residents inside.
So far, three people have died and 13 others have been injured, with three in critical condition. The surrounding buildings were evacuated due to safety concerns.
Yerlikaya, speaking at the crisis desk established near the collapse area, pointed out that the rescue teams of Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) first contacted the child while she was under debris and comforted her.
He added that she was later rescued and taken to the nearest health facility.
The governor said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was closely following the developments and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu monitored rescue operations till dawn.
Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum on Thursday said the rescue teams have heard voices from the debris and vowed continued efforts to reach survivors.