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Iran building collapse death toll jumps to 19 Iran building collapse death toll jumps to 24
(about 1 hour later)
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Watch: The aftermath of a deadly building collapse in IranWatch: The aftermath of a deadly building collapse in Iran
The number of people killed when an unfinished building collapsed in south-west Iran has risen to 19, state media say. The number of people killed when an unfinished building collapsed in south-west Iran has risen to 24, state media say.
Dozens more were injured when the 10-storey Metropol office block in Abadan crashed to the ground on Monday.Dozens more were injured when the 10-storey Metropol office block in Abadan crashed to the ground on Monday.
Pictures showed that concrete floors and steel beams had fallen on to the street below, crushing several cars.Pictures showed that concrete floors and steel beams had fallen on to the street below, crushing several cars.
A search and rescue operation is continuing, and the cause of the collapse is being investigated.A search and rescue operation is continuing, and the cause of the collapse is being investigated.
Local prosecutor Hamid Maranipour said both the Metropol's owner and the building contractor had been arrested.Local prosecutor Hamid Maranipour said both the Metropol's owner and the building contractor had been arrested.
عملیات جست‌وجوی و نجات حادثه‌دیدگان ریزش ساختمان ۱۰ طبقه واقع در ته لنجی #آبادان با ١٢ تيم امداد و‌نجات از شهرستان‌های آبادان، خرمشهر، دشت آزادگان، ماهشهر، شادگان، واکنش سریع استان و آنست ادامه دارد. ۵۰ نیروی امدادی از شهرهای همجوار برای اعزام به محل حادثه آماده‌باش هستند. pic.twitter.com/KBOZFsBVCMعملیات جست‌وجوی و نجات حادثه‌دیدگان ریزش ساختمان ۱۰ طبقه واقع در ته لنجی #آبادان با ١٢ تيم امداد و‌نجات از شهرستان‌های آبادان، خرمشهر، دشت آزادگان، ماهشهر، شادگان، واکنش سریع استان و آنست ادامه دارد. ۵۰ نیروی امدادی از شهرهای همجوار برای اعزام به محل حادثه آماده‌باش هستند. pic.twitter.com/KBOZFsBVCM
State news agency Irna reported that the building was located on Abadan's busiest commercial street, and that its lower floors had been open for a few days while construction work continued above.State news agency Irna reported that the building was located on Abadan's busiest commercial street, and that its lower floors had been open for a few days while construction work continued above.
Witnesses said the collapse, which happened at around 12:40 local time (08:10 GMT), was sudden.Witnesses said the collapse, which happened at around 12:40 local time (08:10 GMT), was sudden.
"I thought it was an earthquake at first," Ahmad, a shop owner, told the Associated Press."I thought it was an earthquake at first," Ahmad, a shop owner, told the Associated Press.
The Iranian Red Crescent said 23 rescue teams from Abadan and neighbouring cities rushed to the scene along with more than a dozen ambulances.The Iranian Red Crescent said 23 rescue teams from Abadan and neighbouring cities rushed to the scene along with more than a dozen ambulances.
The Metropol building was located on one of Abadan's busiest commercial streetsThe Metropol building was located on one of Abadan's busiest commercial streets
The Mehr news agency said most of those who were trapped had been shopping on the ground floor of one of the finished parts of the building. Iran's Mehr news agency said most of those who were trapped had been shopping on the ground floor of one of the finished parts of the building.
Later on Monday afternoon, angry residents took to the streets to protest against the actions of local authorities. A video showed them shouting: "Today is a day of mourning for poor Abadan". Hundreds of angry people, many banging drums and hitting cymbals, took to the streets in Abadan on Thursday night and Friday morning, in protest.
In another video, a crowd appeared to run after the city's mayor, Hossein Hamidpour, near the scene of the collapse. Some shouted "death to incompetent officials" and hailed the "martyrs of Metropol", Fars news agency said.
The building collapse is the deadliest incident of its kind in Iran for years.
In 2017, at least 20 people were killed, including 16 firefighters, when the 17-storey Plasco building in Tehran caught fire and then collapsed.In 2017, at least 20 people were killed, including 16 firefighters, when the 17-storey Plasco building in Tehran caught fire and then collapsed.