A three-story dormitory housing female students collapsed in central Turkey today, killing at least 16 girls, injuring at least 27, and setting off a search for a half-dozen students believed to be under the rubble. The students, between ages 8 and 16, were attending Koran courses in the city of Balcilar during the school summer break.
Frantic rescue workers removed debris with shovels, pickaxes and their bare hands in search of survivors. "We are hearing voices. I believe those inside the rubble will be saved," the city's mayor told local television. Reports have suggested that the explosion was most likely caused by a leak from a gas installation.