Search teams have recovered 10 bodies from the rubble of a collapsed eight-storey apartment building in Istanbul.
The incident on Wednesday has thrown a spotlight on illegal construction in Turkey and raised alarm over the scope of possible destruction in the event of a large earthquake hitting the city.
Thirteen people were pulled from the debris with injuries, as rescuers worked around the clock searching for more survivors.
This included a five-year-old girl who was rescued on Thursday, 18 hours after the building collapsed.
The authorities have not disclosed how many people remain unaccounted for.
The building, in the mostly residential Kartal district, on the Asian side of the city, had 14 apartments, with 43 people registered as residents.
Neighbour Cemile Dag said the collapse had brought to mind haunting images from a deadly earthquake that hit northwestern Turkey in 1999, destroying thousands of homes.
“At first I thought a gas tank had exploded in our building. I looked behind me and the building, like a deck of cards, fell to the ground. There were wails, screaming,” she said.
“People are gone … Just like that disaster during the earthquake, this is the same.”
Officials have said the building’s top three floors were built illegally, although the cause of the collapse is still under investigation.
Experts from the Istanbul branch of the chamber of civil engineers who visited the site concluded that the “load-bearing columns had lost the capacity to carry the weight” of the building, the group said in a statement on Thursday.
A majority of buildings in Istanbul are “either unlicensed, illegal or were constructed without any engineering services”, the group added.
“You don’t need to be a civil engineer to guess (the result) of a probable earthquake,” it said.
“Such disasters will continue.”
The engineering group and others have strongly criticised a government amnesty for illegal constructions introduced last year to bolster the ruling party ahead of elections.
Can Akin, from the Chamber of Geology Engineers, said many buildings in Istanbul were built without an adequate investigation of the ground conditions.
“Istanbul is situated on a seismic belt,” the expert said.
“In the event of an earthquake in Istanbul, we could be faced with a dire picture.”
Turkey’s emergency management agency, Afad, warned in August that up to 30,000 people could be killed in Istanbul if a magnitude 7.5 earthquake were to hit the city of 15 million.
The agency estimated 50,000 people could be critically injured and 44,802 buildings could collapse.
Some 2.4 million people would be left homeless.
The warning came on the anniversary of the August 17 1999, magnitude 7.4 earthquake that killed more than 17,000 people in northwestern Turkey.
Murat Kurum, environment and urbanisation minister, said that several other buildings in the area had seven, nine or 10 floors, despite receiving permits for five.
“Provincial authorities are in the process of identifying them and … action will be taken against buildings that carry risks,” he said.
“Our citizens’ lives and property are of paramount importance.”