A Tuesday afternoon fire at the Masquerade Club in Istanbul, Turkey has claimed the lives of at least 29 people, the BBC reports.

Istanbul governor Davut Gül said the blaze broke out during the day while the venue was closed for renovations, although its root cause remains unclear. Masquerade was located on the ground and basement floors of a 16-story building in the city’s Besiktas district, the governor’s office stated in a press release.

No events were occurring inside the club at the time and most of the victims, Gül added, are believed to be members of the team working on the renovations. Many were also hospitalized and are currently being treated for their injuries, he said in a statements provided to press at the scene.

In the aftermath of the fire, Istanbul’s mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, said that Masquerade’s owners had failed to obtain the “correct construction permit,” per the BBC.

Arrest warrants were reportedly issued for eight people connected to the incident, including the club’s manager and the person in charge of the renovations. Three of those eight individuals have been brought into custody at the time of this writing.

An official investigation into the fire is now underway, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya announced in a post on X.





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