Building collapse kills 5 people, many injured in southern Iran

At least five people were killed when a ten-storey commercial building under construction collapsed in the southwestern Iranian city of Abadan on Monday, state television reported.

There were fears the death toll could be much higher as more than 80 people are believed to have been trapped under the rubble after the Metropol building collapsed, burying shops and even some cars in the surrounding streets, sources in the report.

ٍEhsun Abbaspour, the regional governor of Abadan, told state television that the Amir Kabir street collapse injured 27 people, some in critical condition.

The report gave no reason for the collapse, which happened during a sandstorm, but the building’s owner and project manager from the construction company that built it were arrested.

People queued outside the local blood transfusion center to donate blood for the injured.

“I thought it was an earthquake at first,” said Ahmad, a neighborhood shopkeeper, who gave only one name because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media. He said angry local residents attacked the city’s mayor, Hossein Hamidpour, as he was visiting the scene.

Videos on social media showed angry protesters gathering at the scene while rescue teams worked to evacuate the injured and clear the debris. Rescue workers from neighboring towns rushed to Abadan to help.

No further information was immediately available and authorities said the incident was being investigated.

The collapse reminded many of the 2017 fire and collapse of the iconic Plasco building in the capital, Tehran, that claimed dozens of lives.

In 1978, a fire at Abadan’s Rex cinema killed hundreds. Abadan is home to the Middle East’s oldest oil refinery, which began operating in 1912. Building collapse kills 5 people, many injured in southern Iran

Bobby Allyn

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