Report: Final death toll in Iran building collapse at 26

AP News
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Posted: Jan 27, 2017 12:25 PM

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The final death toll in the deadly collapse of a burning building in the Iranian capital is 26, including 16 firefighters, Iran's semi-official ILNA news agency reported Friday.

Hassan Abbasi, public relations director of the Tehran Emergency Center, told the state-run IRNA news agency that 235 were wounded at the Plasco building fire and collapse in Tehran on Thursday.

"Tehran Emergency Center has provided outpatient and recovery treatment for 180 injured and 55 others have been taken to Tehran hospitals," he said.

State-run Press TV reported last Thursday that 30 firefighters had been killed, without elaborating. Later, authorities said more than 20 firefighters had been killed.

Authorities have yet to comment on this figure, but duplicate counting is not uncommon immediately after such incidents in Iran.

Officials described the building, built more than five decades ago, as having a weak structure.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said an electrical short-circuit was the major cause of the blaze.

The fire and subsequent collapse was the worst such disaster in Tehran since 2005, when a blaze at a historic mosque killed 59.