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Istanbul nightclub fire leaves dozens dead


A fire broke out Tuesday at a nightclub under renovation in Istanbul, killing at least 29 people, officials said.

Masquerade Club Istanbul was located on the ground floor of a 16-story building in Istanbul’s central Besiktas district, the governor’s office said in a statement. The fire broke out during the day while the entertainment center was closed for renovations, it added. Turkish broadcaster TRT World reported that construction workers were among those killed.

One person is hospitalized with serious injuries, the office said.

Masquerade Club described itself as a dance and nightclub that can host up to 4,000 guests and brings “famous stars” and DJs to its stage. The club “attracts international attention as an entertainment brand preferred by top executives of global companies, famous artists and stars of the sports world,” its website said.

The club noted on its website that it would not be able to host guests between March 10 and April 10 due to renovations. “See you on April 10 with a brand new MSQRD,” the website said. There was no immediate response Tuesday to an attempt to reach the nightclub via a WhatsApp number listed on its website.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. A team of fire and safety experts is working on the scene to investigate possible causes, Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said. Video of the scene showed blazes and a huge column of smoke emerging from the building’s bottom floor, leaving charred what could be seen of its facade.

“May God have mercy on our citizens who lost their lives,” Istanbul’s mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, who visited the fire scene, said on X. Imamoglu was reelected for a second term as the city’s mayor on Sunday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “closely follows” the “painful” incident’s developments, Erdogan’s office’s communications director Fahrettin Altun said on X.

“My condolences to our nation …” Istanbul’s governor Davut Gul wrote.

Tunc said the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s office launched a judicial investigation and assigned three public prosecutors. Five people have been detained regarding the incident, including three workplace officials, one manager and another person responsible for the renovation, he said.

Ali Yerlikaya, the minister of internal affairs, said an administrative investigation has been launched into the fire, with civil inspectors appointed.





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