At least 29 dead in Istanbul fire

At least 29 people have died in a fire at a 16-storey apartment building in Istanbul, the governor of Turkey's economic capital said, adding that the death toll earlier stood at 15 and the number of injured at eight. 
"The number of people who lost their lives in the fire ... in the Beşiktaş district's Gayrettepe has risen to 29," Governor Davut Gül's office said in a statement, referring to the Istanbul district. 
"One person injured in the fire is still being treated in hospital," the statement added. 
The fire started at 12:47 p.m. ( 09:47 GMT), the department said, and was brought under control by firefighters only hours later. 
Television footage showed flames and a column of thick smoke billowing from upper-story windows. 
The death and injury toll rose throughout the afternoon in a series of statements from the governor's office as more victims succumbed to their injuries. 
The fire broke out during construction work on the first and second floors below ground, which housed a nightclub, Gul told reporters. 
"An investigation has been launched into the fire in Gayrettepe," Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said. 
Five people were arrested at the scene in connection with the fire, news channel NTV reported. 
Istanbul's newly elected mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, who rushed to the scene, said "the fire is under control. Let's hope there are no other casualties," offering "condolences" to the relatives of the dead and injured. / BGNES