The blaze broke out at around 8:30 a.m. in a building belonging to Akın Textile A.Ş., located in the Çırpıcı neighborhood. It is still unknown how the fire started. Shortly after the fire began, it spread to four nearby fabric and leather storage buildings.
On of the workers from Aybo Tekstil San ve Dış Tic Ltd. said their building, which caught fire, housed about 500 tons of materials. Damage caused by the fire is expected to be in the hundreds of millions of Turkish lira.
Around 10 workers suffered from smoke inhalation and received medical attention from paramedics on the scene, but there were no reports of deaths or serious injuries. Efforts to completely contain the fire were still under way by the time Today's Zaman went to print on Monday.
Speaking to the press during April 23 celebrations, which mark National Sovereignty and Children's Day, at Taksim Square, İstanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu said the fire is presumed to have begun with flammable materials such as paint thinner. He added that no loss of life or serious injuries had been reported to him.
Mutlu further stated that the region where the fire broke out was home to about 68 textile factories, and around 80 firefighters were sent to extinguish the fire. “Because there was so much yarn and leather being stored in the factory, controlling the fire has been much more difficult,” Mutlu noted.
The İstanbul Municipality released a written statement Monday afternoon, saying that the fire was finally brought under control through the efforts of 200 firefighters and 70 fire engines. The statement also said some explosions had occurred because of volatile substances in the buildings.