News ID: 176533
Published: 0757 GMT January 27, 2017

Debris removal operations end at site of Tehran tower collapse

Debris removal operations end at site of Tehran tower collapse

The operations for the removal of debris from the site of an ageing high-rise in downtown Tehran have come to an end, nine days after its collapse.

The iconic Plasco building came down after fire engulfed the top floors of the 17-story building on January 19, causing deep shock and sorrow among Iranians in the country and across the world. Many officials from different countries also offered their condolences to the Iranian government and people over the tragic incident.

“The clean-up operations at [the site of] the collapsed building of Plasco ended this evening,” Tehran mayor's deputy for municipal urban services, Mojtaba Yazdani, told reporters on Friday.

He added that 20,000 tonnes of wreckage and steel have been moved from the tower over the past nine days.

Twenty people, including 16 fire fighters, lost their lives after the collapse of the Plasco building.

The spokesman for Tehran Emergency Center, Hassan Abbasi, told IRNA on Friday that the incident also injured 235 people and noted that two fire fighters are still hospitalized.

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on Thursday that electrical short circuit was the main cause of the Plasco incident.

Firefighters battled the blaze for several hours before the building fell in a matter of seconds. Police tried to keep out shopkeepers and others wanting to rush back in to collect their valuables. Dramatic images showed flames pouring out of the top floors before it crumbled to the ground.

Tehran Municipality authorities say they had repeatedly warned about safety issues at the building. Plasco, one of Tehran’s oldest high-rises, was home to hundreds of production workshops and was known mostly for its clothing stores.

   
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