Turkish school explosion leaves 17 dead
Balcilar (Turkey), August 2, 2008
A gas explosion killed at least 17 girls and injured 27 others, wrecking a dormitory at a school in southern Turkey on Friday, a military rescue official said.
Several girls were feared trapped under the rubble of the three-storey building in Balcilar village in the Toros mountain range, some 340 kilometres south of the capital Ankara.
"We have been informed that 16 students died and 27 were injured. We think that there are still four or six more children under the rubble," Interior Minister Besir Atalay said.
Later a military rescue official, who declined to be named, told Reuters that the death toll had risen to 17.
Around 50 people, female students and teachers, were in the building when it collapsed like a house of cards from the gas explosion, local residents told Reuters.
Girls from eight to 16 were using the dormitory while they took part in a course of Islamic study.
Merve Avci, a 13-year-old headscarved student who suffered slight injuries, told reporters she had smelled gas coming from downstairs to the upper floors, and then felt the explosion.
"I was in the part of the building which didn't collapse with five of my friends immediately after the explosion, and we felt flames rising from the downstairs to upper floors," she said, according to Anatolian news agency.-Reuters
More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories
- Malaysia formally asks for international help
- MASSACRE: Gunmen kill 100 in central Nigeria
- Tense Crimea votes on Russia referendum
- Libyan port rebels say ready for talks
- India puts on hold search for missing plane
- Alibaba plans US listing in third-quarter
- Lost airliner was diverted deliberately: Malaysian PM
- Saudi demands Qatar shut down Al Jazeera
- Labour stalwart Benn dies aged 88
- Bahrain boat show postponed over development work
- Korean steel maker Posco set for revamp
- Harsh winter hits US consumer sentiment
- Sanctions set as Russia presses on with Crimea takeover
- India inflation at nine-month low
- Missing plane: It's deliberate act says Malaysia PM
- Lost plane 'flown deliberately toward Andamans'
- Gold hits fresh six-month highs
- Iran not open for business, affirms Kerry
- Barclays 'to cut thousands of jobs'
- Jet sent 'pings' after going missing
- China premier warns on economic slowdown
- Gunmen fire on army bus in Cairo, 1 killed
- Lost jet 'may have flown for four hours'
- Gold up as Ukraine, China prompt safe-haven bids
- Search finds no sign of lost plane at suspect spot
- Missing jet may have strayed to Andaman
- Gold hits near 6-month high
- 2 killed in Manhattan building blast
- Cameron pushes for travel bans on Russian MPs
- Indian coastguards join Malaysia jet search