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At least 29 people lost their lives after a fire engulfed the Masquerade nightclub in central Istanbul during daytime renovation work, news agency Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing Turkish authorities. The office of the city governor said that firefighters doused the charred and smoking entrance to the club, and victims were rushed into ambulances.

Upon receiving the alert, firefighters, medical teams, and police arrived at the spot along with law enforcement securing the area. Firefighters, with 31 vehicles and 86 personnel, quickly extinguished the flames and brought the situation under control, Anadolu agency reported. “Efforts by rescue teams are ongoing at the site of the incident,” the statement further stated.

The club, which was closed for renovation, occupied two basement floors beneath a 16-storey residential building. Amid the ongoing investigation into the incident, six people were detained, Reuters reported.

In the footage, white and black smoke was seen billowing from the basement floors, flames were rising to the third floor of the building, and the corridors leading to the entrance of the club were completely charred, as reported by Reuters. According to the Masquerade website, it can host up to 4,000 people with DJ performances and stage shows several times a week.

Casualties were reported among construction workers at the nightclub where the blaze broke out on the minus-first and minus-second floors of a 16-story building in the Besiktas district of the city, Turkish news agency Anadolu reported, citing an official statement by the Istanbul Governorship. The exact reason behind the fire remains unknown, but the statement said it occurred due to renovation work. 

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