At least 12 bodies were recovered after a fire broke out in a private girls’ dormitory late on Tuesday in Turkey’s southern Adana province, the province’s governor announced.
President Tayyip Erdogan called Governor Mahmut Demirtas early on Wednesday morning and got an update on the situation, according to Anadolu Agency presidential sources.
Erdogan said he was “deeply sorry” for the fire and wished “God’s mercy on those who lost their lives” while hoping for a quick recovery for the wounded.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was also briefed by Demirtas.
“We have lost 12 of our citizens, 11 of them students, one of them an educator. 12 citizens are wounded,” Demirtas told journalists.
The governor previously stated that 28 students were staying at the secondary school dormitory when the fire erupted.
He also said some of the injured students were affected by smoke and others were wounded while trying to escape the burning building.
JUMPED FROM WINDOWS
“We have reached all the people inside. According to initial reports, we believe the fire broke out due to electricity,” added Demirtas.
The Governor further outlined: “No one was seriously wounded. Some jumped from windows.”
Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, and Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya arrived on site early on Wednesday. Kaya pledged accountability for any oversight.
Addressing the claim that the fire escape in the building was locked, Kaya affirmed: “This is an allegation. It will be thoroughly investigated.”
The ministers visited people wounded at a nearby hospital.
“The latest information [says] this fire [likely] broke out due to electric contact,” Kaynak told reporters.
“After all, whatever caused the incident, caused the fire, the required procedures will be conducted for those responsible.”
On Tuesday, two 16-year-old schoolgirls were killed in Cyprus’ occupied areas after a school minibus collided with a truck. The bus driver was also killed.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, tweeted his condolences, saying: “May Allah have mercy on those who lost their lives,” also wishing for those injured “a speedy recovery”.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci updated his Twitter cover photo to black before tweeting: “We lost our children. The pain of our family and friends is painful. Our injured need urgent healing.”
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades expressed his “deep sorrow” and “heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and the injured,” also via Twitter.