17-Storey Building In Tehran Collapses, Kills 20 Firemen

PHOTOGRAPH: Twitter/Borzou Daragahi | 20 Firemen killed in Tehran fire. Photo Credit: Twitter/Borzou Daragahi

A 17-storey building in Tehran collapsed and killed 20 firemen.  People inside the building were able to evacuate before the fire burned down the establishment. Sadly, the fire killed at least 20 firemen,  It happened when the building went down in a matter of seconds. About 70 people got injured from the incident.  Rescue workers and sniffer dogs performed a search on the ruins after several hours. Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf then confirmed the number in a statement.

The fire consumed the iconic The Plasco.  It is a landmark commercial building in the Iranian capital of Tehran. Habib Elghanian, an Iranian Jewish businessman, built the building in 1962. Habib’s company named the building The Plasco building after the company. In its glory days, the building is Tehran’s tallest establishment with a shopping center and clothing workshops.

Building managers did not heed warnings

Officials did not provide the cause of the fire, which started on the ninth floor of the building. In a report from BBC, fire officials warned the managers of the building’s safety issues. Fire department spokesman, Jalal Maleki, informed the building’s managers that they lack fire extinguishers. Similar reports mentioned that the high-rise building had previously caught fire.

The state television also reported that ten fire stations responded to the fire emergency.  Witnesses described the incident similar to a horror movie. One of the firefighters described his experience in a report that the building was shaking and about to collapse.  President Hassan Rouhani even called it as an extremely sad and unfortunate event.

Business owners tried to enter the ruins in an attempt to recover properties.  This was also caught on tape.  Police officers, likewise, prevented people from entering the area along Jomhoori avenue as well as nearby British and Turkish embassies.  Fire officials are doing an investigation as to the cause of the fire. 

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About the author

An avid reader, traveler, and earth enthusiast, Rubelle has two permanent roles: a daughter and a wife. But she wants to be a mother too. For the meantime, she works for Red Cross and writes articles for Morning Ledger to keep her busy.