ISTANBUL (Reuters) – An explosion at an Istanbul factory on Thursday killed at least 17 people and injured nearly 40 after it brought down several floors of a multi-storey building, Istanbul authorities said.
Television footage showed a seriously damaged building with shattered windows and surrounded by debris. One man lay on the street apparently badly hurt in the blast.
Istanbul health officials, quoted on private broadcaster CNN Turk, said the death toll was at 17.
But police said more people were still under the rubble and that the death toll could rise.
Police said the blast had been caused by an explosion in the factory’s furnace room, but Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler said the cause of the blast was still to be confirmed.
“We don’t know (the cause of the explosion), we’re still looking into it,” he said.
People were still being taken to hospital after ambulances and fire engines rushed to the scene of the blast, which occurred at a sock factory in the industrial Davutpasha district of Istanbul.
Earlier in the month a blast that killed six and injured dozens in the city centre of Diyarbakir had been linked with the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party.