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Iran arrests city mayor after building collapse

May 24, 2022 at 11:19 am

Iranians gather at the site where a ten-storey building collapsed as rescue operations continue in the southwestern city of Abadan on May 24, 2022. [TASNIM NEWS/AFP via Getty Images]

Iranian judicial authorities investigating a building collapse that killed at least 11 people have detained the mayor of the southwestern city of Abadan and nine others, Reuters reported state media saying today.

The ten-storey residential and commercial building partly collapsed yesterday, trapping at least 80 people under the rubble, according to state TV.

“Ten people who are the main elements implicated in this incident, including the current and former Abadan mayors, a number of municipality employees and those who supervised this project have been detained and the investigation continues,” local prosecutor Sadeq Jafari Chegeni told state TV.

Authorities said other sections of the building may collapse and called on people not to gather near the site.

Mojtaba Khaledi, spokesperson for the state emergency services, told the television that some 50 people may still be trapped under the rubble.

In 2017, 20 firefighters were killed when a 17-storey commercial building in the capital Tehran collapsed as they tried to put out a blaze.

The disaster prompted accusations that warnings about poor safety standards and the building’s weak structure had been ignored.

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