Firefighters Die In Building Collapse In Tehran
- Author: Megan Austin Jan 22, 2017,
Jan 22, 2017, 0:47
Firefighters reportedly fought to control the blaze for hours before the 17-storey building started to crumble.
Fars said the downtown Plasco building, built more than 50 years ago, was home to hundreds of garment manufacturers and other businesses.
Authorities said they feared dozens of firefighters were in the building at the time, along with an unknown number of business owners who had rushed into the burning building to retrieve their valuables.
In the images broadcast on state television one side of the building started tumbling first almost knocking one firefighter off a ladder as he contended with the flames.
The disaster struck the Plasco building, an iconic structure in central Tehran just north of the capital's sprawling bazaar. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
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"We had repeatedly warned the building managers about the lack of safety of the building", he was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.
"I visited the building because my cousin had a T-shirt production line there", Manzarpour said. "The managers didn't pay attention to the warnings", he added.
"The building is one of the oldest buildings in Tehran".
Soroush Farzin-Moghadam, an engineering professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the USA state of MA, told VOA Persian's Newshour program that Iranian authorities typically attempt to update building codes when a disaster happens. "They are martyrs. They lost their lives when trying to help people".
The Plasco tower is located on the busy Jomhoori Avenue and was built in 1962 and named after a plastics manufacturing company.