29 killed in fire at Istanbul nightclub during renovation work

2 April 2024, 13:22 | Updated: 2 April 2024, 19:02

At least 29 people have died and several others are injured after a fire at a nightclub in Istanbul.

The blaze broke out during renovation work at the Masquerade nightclub situated on the ground floor and basement of a 16-storey residential building in the Gayrettepe district of the city.

It was extinguished and Davut Gul, the governor of Istanbul, said an investigation was under way.

The victims are thought to have been involved in the renovation work.

At least one person was being treated in hospital, the Istanbul governor's office said in a statement.

Police detained five people for questioning, including managers of the club and one person in charge of the renovations, justice minister Yilmaz Tunc said.

Footage posted by the Istanbul Fire Department on X showed crews attending the scene with several fire engines and ambulances surrounding the smoking entrance to the building.

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One person can be seen being carried out of the wreckage in the clip.

Mayor of Istanbul Ekrem Imamoglu said on X: "May God have mercy on our citizens who lost their lives, and I wish a speedy recovery to our injured."

He said authorities were inspecting the whole building to assess its safety.

Masquerade has a capacity of 4,000 guests according to its website, and was closed for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. Its owners were trying to complete the renovation work in time for next week's Eid holiday, which follows the month of fasting.

"See you on April 10," the club said in message posted on its website.

Police sealed off the area while power and natural gas to the neighbourhood were cut off as a safety precaution.