Death toll rises to 16 In Istanbul building collapse

Rescuers carry a girl on a stretcher at the site of a collapsed residential building in the Kartal district Istanbul Turkey

Rescuers carry a girl on a stretcher at the site of a collapsed residential building in the Kartal district Istanbul Turkey

The nine coffins were covered in green cloths.

Thirty residents were inside the building, which contained 14 apartments, when it collapsed Wednesday, Anadolu said.

Earlier Saturday, Erdogan and other officials joined mourners at the funeral for nine members of the Alemdar family who lived in the collapsed building. Ugurlu said "no one spoke to her on the phone".

Turkish authorities said 43 people were registered as living in the building.

Ugurlu told the AP on Saturday that "her sister absolutely didn't directly speak to her".

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

"There are lessons we need to learn", Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, offering his condolences to the victims of the family members on Saturday.

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Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has increased the death toll to 17.

"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.

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

Suleyman Soylu said early Saturday that another body had been found in the rubble.

Search and rescue teams continue rescue work at the site of a building collapse in Kartal district of Istanbul, Turkey on February 08, 2019.

Experts say a majority of buildings in Istanbul lack proper licenses and are built illegally or without engineering services.

Emergency teams, aided by sniffer dogs, are continuing to work around the clock to reach possible survivors. Seven of them are in a serious condition.

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