A 4-story building located in Kağıthane district, Istanbul, totally collapsed on Monday, April 22, 2019.
The collapse succeeded a retaining wall and an adjacent construction failure. In particular, when the retaining wall gave in, nearby buildings were left hanging off a cliff. Officials quickly ordered the buildings in danger to be evacuated. Local residences and television crews witnessed the building's collapse. Fortunately, no casualties were recorded.
"In the morning hours, the residents of the building were evacuated and it was cordoned off, there is no one injured or killed in the incident. Ten buildings near the collapsed building which are at risk have been evacuated and the necessary safety measures have been taken," Istanbul Governor's Office stated.
In the aftermath of the incident, 26 building in the area have been evacuated as a precaution. "We are hosting our [evacuated] citizens at guesthouses and hotels. We are undertaking every kind of help and support for them within the coordination of our Kağıthane Municipality and our Governor's Office," Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum said on April 24, 2019.
The minister also ensured that the causes of the failures are under investigation. A criminal complaint against the construction firm of the retaining wall is already issued. "The prosecutor's office will undertake the necessary analysis. If the firm is at fault, what is necessary will be undertaken through the prosecutor's office regarding the problems stemming from this construction it did," Kurum stated.
Officials will evaluate the stability condition of all retaining walls in the city in an effort to prevent such catastrophic incidents in the future. Moreover, engineers will identify structural flaws in 68 buildings that are located in Kağıthane district. Those that are found vulnerable will be demolished.
The incident is very similar to another retaining wall failure followed by a building collapse that occurred in Istanbul's Beyoglu district about 6 months ago.