News

Massive high-rise fire in Tehran kills at least 30 firefighters

Massive high-rise fire in Tehran kills at least 30 firefighters
World
TEHRAN, Iran – A high-rise building in Tehran engulfed by a fire collapsed on Thursday, killing at least 30 firefighters and injuring some 75 people, state media reported.

The disaster struck the Plasco building, an iconic structure in central Tehran just north of the capital’s sprawling bazaar.

Iran’s state-run Press TV announced the firefighters’ deaths, without giving a source for the information. Local Iranian state television said 30 civilians were injured in the disaster, while the state-run IRNA news agency said 45 firefighters had been injured.

Firefighters battled the blaze for several hours before the collapse. Police tried to keep out shopkeepers and others wanting to rush back in to collect their valuables.

The building came down in a matter of seconds, shown live on state television, which had begun an interview with a journalist at the scene. A side of the building came down first, tumbling perilously close to a firefighter perched on a ladder and spraying water on the blaze.

A thick plume of brown smoke rose over the site after the collapse. Onlookers wailed in grief.

Jalal Maleki, a fire department spokesman, earlier told Iranian state television that 10 firehouses responded to the blaze, which was first reported around 8 a.m.

Iranian fire fighters try to control a fire as it rises from the iconic Plasco building in Tehran, Iran, 19 January 2017. Media reported that major commercial building in Tehran has collapsed after hours of a severe fire, according to Iranian state media. At least 30 deaths, all firefighters were trapped on upper floors of buildings that have collapsed. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Iranian fire fighters try to exit from the iconic Plasco building prior to its collapse in Tehran, Iran, 19 January 2017. Media reported that major commercial building in Tehran has collapsed after hours of a severe fire, according to Iranian state media. At least 30 deaths, all firefighters were trapped on upper floors of buildings that have collapsed. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Iranian fire fighters try to control a fire as it rises from the iconic Plasco building in Tehran, Iran, 19 January 2017. Media reported that major commercial building in Tehran has collapsed after hours of a severe fire, according to Iranian state media. At least 30 deaths, all firefighters were trapped on upper floors of buildings that have collapsed. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Rescue workers help an injured man in front of the collapsed iconic Plasco building in Tehran, Iran, 19 January 2017. Media reported that the major Plasco commercial building in Tehran has collapsed after hours of a severe fire, according to Iranian state media. At least 30 firefighters have died after being trapped on the upper floors of the building. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Rescue workers gather in front of the collapsed iconic Plasco building in Tehran, Iran, 19 January 2017. Media reported that the major Plasco commercial building in Tehran has collapsed after hours of a severe fire, according to Iranian state media. At least 30 firefighters have died after being trapped on the upper floors of the building. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Rescue workers help an injured man in front of the collapsed iconic Plasco building in Tehran, Iran, 19 January 2017. Media reported that major commercial building in Tehran has collapsed after hours of a severe fire, according to Iranian state media. At least 30 deaths, all firefighters were trapped on upper floors of buildings that have collapsed. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Rescue workers gather in front of the collapsed iconic Plasco building in Tehran, Iran, 19 January 2017. Media reported that the major Plasco commercial building in Tehran has collapsed after hours of a severe fire, according to Iranian state media. At least 30 firefighters have died after being trapped on the upper floors of the building. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Iranian fire fighters condole one of their colleagues in Tehran, Iran, 19 January 2017. Media reported that major commercial building in Tehran has collapsed after hours of a severe fire, according to Iranian state media. At least 30 deaths, all firefighters were trapped on upper floors of buildings that have collapsed. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

The Iranian military sent units to help with the disaster, state television reported.

Several embassies are located near the building. Turkey’s state-run news agency, reporting from Tehran, said the Turkish Embassy was evacuated as a precaution, though it sustained no damage in the collapse.

The Plasco building was an iconic presence on the Tehran skyline.

The 17-story tower was built in the early 1960s by Iranian Jewish businessman Habib Elghanian and named after his plastics manufacturing company. It was the tallest building in the city at the time of its construction.

Elghanian was tried on charges that included espionage and executed in the months after the 1979 Islamic Revolution that brought the current ruling system to power – a move that prompted many members of the country’s longstanding Jewish community to flee.

The tower is attached to a multistory shopping mall featuring a sky-lit atrium and a series of turquoise-colored fountains. It wasn’t immediately clear if the mall was damaged.



Associated Press writers Jon Gambrell and Adam Schreck in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, contributed to this report.
Read more on globalnews.ca
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
Top Stories
TEHRAN, Iran A high rise building in Tehran engulfed by a fire collapsed on Thursday, killing at least 30 firefighters and injuring some 75 people, state media reported. The disaster...
World
A high rise building in Tehran engulfed by a fire collapsed on Thursday, killing at least 30 firefighters and injuring some 75 people, state media reported. The disaster struck the Plasco...
World
Iranian firefighters work to extinguish fire of the Plasco building in central Tehran, Iran on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. AP / Vahid Salemi Published Thursday, January 19, 2017 4 58AM EST...
World
TEHRAN, Iran Rescue teams worked through the night to try and reach trapped victims and firefighters after a commercial building collapsed in Iran s capital and killed at least...
World
TEHRAN, Iran A historic high rise building in the heart of Iran s capital caught fire and later collapsed Thursday, killing at least 30 firefighters and leaving their stunned colleagues...