Turkey building collapse death toll hits 14

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The death toll from the collapse of an apartment building in Istanbul has climbed to 14, a Turkish government minister said on Friday.

The eight-story block in the Kartal district on the Asian side of the city collapsed on Wednesday but the cause is not yet clear.

“So far 14 of our fellow citizens have been lost and another 14 people have been brought out of the rubble alive,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told a news conference.

The official toll had previously stood at 10 people dead and 13 injured.

Media reports said three of the eight floors had been illegally built -- a relatively common practice in the metropolis of some 15 million people.

Anadolu news agency said 43 people were registered as living in the building.

The collapse fanned criticism of a government amnesty granted last year to people accused of illegal building -- a measure announced ahead of municipal elections this March.

A four-storey structure in Istanbul crumbled last year following violent thunderstorms. In January 2017, two people died when another building collapsed in a working class part of town.