Fire at Istanbul nightclub kills dozens during renovation work, state media says


Emergency services outside the Istanbul nightclub where a deadly fire broke out on April 2, 2024.


At least 29 people have died in a blaze which started during daytime repair work at a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey, state media reported Tuesday.

A further eight people were injured, with seven of those in serious condition, the Istanbul governor’s office said.

The governor’s office said the fire started in the Besiktas district in central Istanbul on the European side of the city, and that all of the victims were construction workers.

The fire began shortly before 1 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET), state media reported, at a 16-story block on Gundogdu Street, a busy part of Istanbul’s Gayrettepe neighborhood.

The blaze started during renovations at the site, which is located underground, says Anadolu, the Turkish news state agency.

Arrest warrants for five people have been issued, including three people who managed the nightclub and one responsible for the renovation, Turkish Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc wrote on X.

“The site inspection and evidence collection efforts are ongoing, and a team of 3 experts specializing in occupational safety and fire is also continuing their work to determine the cause of the fire,” he said.

Murad Sezer/Reuters

Police officers stand next to the burned building in Istanbul.

Ekrem Imamoglu, the mayor of Istanbul, sent his condolences on social media.

“May God have mercy on our citizens who lost their lives,” he wrote on X.

Imamoglu, of the opposition Republic People’s Party (CHP), was re-elected as mayor on Sunday in local elections that marked the biggest election defeat to date for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development (AK) Party.

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