Istanbul, Apr 5 (AFP) A major fire today broke out at a hospital in Istanbul, with patients urgently evacuated into the street and firefighters battling to control the blaze.

Television pictures showed flames and black smoke engulfing the multi-storey hospital building in the Gaziosmanpasa district of Istanbul, with patients wheeled out into the street in their sick beds.

The huge fire, which started in the roof, turned the side of the building into a burned-out shell and sent a massive cloud of black smoke into the evening sky visible from all over the city.

Speaking at the scene, Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin said the fire services had managed to bring the blaze partly under control.

Echoing comments by other officials, he said there were no current reports of casualties. “So far there is no sad news. God willing, it will stay that way,” he told the crowds outside in comments broadcast by television.

He said that the fire had been on the outer part of the building — rather than the inside — but a “lot of smoke” had penetrated inside which emergency services were now seeking to expel.

Pictures showed scenes of panic as staff and patients flooded into the streets to escape the fumes.

Health Minister Ahmet Demircan, who was rushing to the scene Istanbul, has informed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of developments, Turkish television said.

Gaziosmanpasa mayor Hasan Tahsin Usta told CNN-Turk television there were no reports at the moment of casualties. (AFP) NSA

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.