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5-story building collapses in Istanbul

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Posted at 6:46 AM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 08:56:12-05

ISTANBUL (AP) — A five-story building collapsed in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Friday but it appears no one was trapped inside, according to local officials.

The building collapsed in a small side street close to Istanbul's pedestrian Istiklal Avenue, a main shopping district, reducing much of it to rubble. Police sealed off the area.

Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin told reporters that "according to preliminary inspections there isn't anyone inside."

He added that people near the building realized that it was about to collapse due to the noise and warned people inside. "Our hope is that there wasn't anyone inside," said the governor.

Mayor Misbah Demircan said "people at the car park felt the shaking and they made people vacate the area," crediting them with preventing a disaster.

Earlier, private news agency Dogan had said people were believed to be trapped in the rubble.