At least 12 bodies were recovered after a fire broke out in a private girls' dormitory late Tuesday in the southern province of Adana, the province’s governor said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Governor Mahmut Demirtas early Wednesday and got an update on the situation, according to presidential sources.
Erdogan said he was deeply sorry for the fire and wished Allah's mercy on those who lost their lives while hoping for a quick recovery for the wounded.
"We have lost 12 of our citizens, 11 of them students, one of them an educator. Twelve citizens are wounded,” Demirtas told reporters.
The governor previously announced 28 students were staying at the secondary school dormitory when the fire erupted.
He also said some of the injured students were affected by smoke and others were wounded while trying to escape the burning building.
"We have reached all the people inside. According to initial reports, we believe the fire broke out due to electricity," he said.
Demirtas said the wounded have been taken to hospitals in the region. "No one was seriously wounded … Some of the wounded jumped from windows."
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was also briefed by Demirtas and related ministers.
Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, and Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya arrived on site early Wednesday. Kaya pledged accountability for any oversight.
Addressing the claim that the fire escape in the building was locked, Kaya said: "This is an allegation. It will be thoroughly investigated."
The ministers visited people wounded in the fire at the hospital.
"The latest information [says] this fire [likely] broke out due to electric contact," Kaynak told reporters. He added: "After all, whatever caused the incident, caused the fire … the required procedures will be conducted for those responsible."
Meanwhile, the Supreme Board of Radio and Television Supreme imposed a broadcast ban on the fire until the investigation is concluded.
Reporting by Omer Yildiz;Writing by Emin Avundukluoglu