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Fire Tears Through Istanbul Tower Block
Hundreds of people were evacuated in Istanbul after a huge blaze broke out in a high-rise building.
Black smoke poured from the 42-storey Polat Towers as firefighters battled to bring the flames under control.
Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said initial inspections suggested the blaze was triggered by a technical problem in a section containing air conditioners.
The building is partly residential and partly occupied by shops and businesses. The blaze started on the ground floor and tore up one side of the building.
State-run TRT television said the fire, fanned by winds, tore through the building's external wall insulation.
Live pictures showed debris falling from the upper floors of the building.
Nur Demirci, an eyewitness, said: "Smoke engulfed the whole building in a few seconds and we couldn't go home as debris was falling. We couldn't see anything else other than smoke and the fire that has spread with the wind."
No one was hurt, but firefighters had to rescue an 80-year-old woman.
Mustafa Sarigul, mayor for the Sisli district where the building is located, said the inside of the tower block was not affected.
"The building's fire-extinguishing system automatically activated," he said, "otherwise we could have faced a huge disaster."