Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 19 January 2017| 20 Rabi ul Aakir 1438
Plasco building collapses after massive blaze wounds dozens of people, Iranian state media report.
A major commercial building in Tehran has collapsed after a severe fire raged for hours, with dozens feared trapped under the rubble, according to Iranian state media.
State television said 200 firefighters had been called to the Plasco building at around 8am on Thursday morning.
At least 53 people had already been injured battling the blaze before the tower collapsed.
The 17-storey building, dating from the early 1960s and including a shopping centre and clothing workshops, was being evacuated after the fire broke out, but people were reportedly still inside when the collapse happened.
“Many are feared trapped under the rubble. Shopkeepers and shoppers were still inside the building when the fire and collapse happened,” state-owned Press TV reported.
State media said that “tens” of firefighters may also have been inside when it collapsed.
Police had blocked off streets around the building, which was among the first high-rises built in the Iranian capital.
Dramatic images showed flames pouring out of the top floors before it crumbled to the ground.
“We had repeatedly warned the building managers about the lack of safety of the building,” fire brigade spokesman Jalal Malekias said, adding that it lacked fire extinguishers.
“Even in the stairwells, a lot of clothing is stored and this is against safety standards. The managers didn’t pay attention to the warnings,” he said.
Source – Al Jazeera