Saved: Girl (5) found in rubble 18 hours after building collapsed



President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the site of the collapsed building in Istanbul on February 9.

"The number of those who lost their lives has climbed to 15", Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, quoted by Hurriyet newspaper and DHA news agency.

The residential building, in the Kartal district on the Asian side of the city, collapsed on Wednesday.

Turkey's interior minister has said the death toll in the collapse of an eight-story apartment building in Istanbul has risen to 16.

"There are lessons we need to learn", Erdogan said, visiting the building site.

Mourners attend the funeral prayers for nine members of Alemdar family killed in a collapsed apartment building, in Istanbul, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. He said rescuers had reached another person under the rubble, who was thought to be dead.

The cause of the collapse was under investigation but officials said the top three floors had been illegally built.

After the prosecutor's office said it was looking into the cause of the incident, Turkish television stations immediately ended their live broadcasts from the scene.

"In this area, we have faced a very serious problem with illegal businesses like this done to make more money", Erdogan told reporters on his first visit to the site. They have criticized a government decision to grant amnesty for illegal construction past year ahead of the country's general election. Seven of them are in serious condition.

Authorities haven't disclosed how many people remain unaccounted for.

There were 14 apartments and a total of 43 residents in the building, which was originally built 27 years ago.

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