Tanker smashes into historic mansion

The damaged Hekimbasi Salih Efendi Mansion is seen after the Maltese flagged tanker Vitaspirit crashed into it
The damaged Hekimbasi Salih Efendi Mansion is seen after the Maltese flagged tanker Vitaspirit crashed into it.

A tanker crashed into a historic mansion on the shores of Istanbul's Bosphorus after its steering equipment became locked, broadcaster CNN Turk has reported.

Towboats and coast guard vessels were sent to the area after the crash and the Vitaspirit tanker, carrying a Maltese flag, was pulled back from the site and brought to shore.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, but pictures from the crash show extensive damage to the historic seaside mansion located under the Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridge, one of the three crossings between Istanbul's Asian and European sides.

Traffic in the strait had been suspended in both directions, according to reports.

The Hekimbasi Salih Efendi Mansion has stood on the shores of the Bosphorus Strait since the 18th century and is used to host weddings and concerts, according to the mansion's website.

The Bosphorus is one of the world's most important choke points for maritime oil transports, with more than three percent of global supply - mainly from Russia and the Caspian Sea - passing through the 17-mile waterway connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.

It is also used by vessels carrying grain from Russia and Kazakhstan to international markets.

Reuters