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

By Tanem Zaman and Hande Atay Alam, CNN

(CNN) — 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 Gonenoglu Street, a busy part of Istanbul’s Gayrettepe neighborhood. The nightclub is called Masquerade Club, according to CNN’s producer at the scene.

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

Turkish authorities have detained eight people in connection with the fire, including the business manager of the nightclub, its accountant and partners, as well as the person responsible for the metal workers related to the renovation, TRT News reported.

Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said authorities were collecting evidence from the site.

“A team of 3 experts specializing in occupational safety and fire is also continuing their work to determine the cause of the fire,” he wrote on X.

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.

Umut Sevdi Tangör in Istanbul contributed to this report.

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