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Bystanders 'prevented disaster' in Istanbul building collapse

A five-storey building has collapsed in the Turkish city of Istanbul 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: "According to preliminary inspections there isn't anyone inside."

He added that people near the building realised 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.

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