13 dead in Turkish school collapse
ANKARA: At least 13 schoolgirls were killed and 23 others injured when building of a girls' boarding school collapsed on Friday in the centre of Turkey, local authorities said.
Konya state governor Osman Aydin, cited by the Anatolia news agency, put the death toll at 13, while Mayor Abdulbaki Acet of Taskent, where the school was located, told NTV television that 23 had been hurt.
The mayor, who had earlier given a death toll of 11, said rescue workers were hunting for survivors, but he did not know how many people were still under the ruins of the three-storey building.
Aydin said rescue teams had made contact with three students trapped under the rubble, and were redoubling efforts to pull them free.
The establishment, run by a religious foundation, taught the Koran to girls aged eight to 16, Acet said.
Around 40 girls were said to be in the school at the time of the disaster that struck in the early hours of Friday morning. NTV reported that an explosion of a gas cylinder might have triggered the collapse.
At least two of the injured were in serious condition and would need to undergo operations, said Galip Sef, an official at the local hospital.