RFL/RE – There were conflicting reports of casualties after a high-rise building in downtown Tehran caught fire and collapsed.
The Associated Press cited Iran’s Press TV as saying that 30 firefighters were killed, without giving a source.
A fire brigade spokesman said that such reports were irresponsible as rescue efforts were still ongoing, but added that he feared some firefighters were dead.
State television reported that “at least 38 people were injured and hospitalized but most of them have been discharged.”
Reports said the 17-story Plasco building, close to the Iranian capital’s sprawling bazaar in the city center, had been evacuated before it collapsed.
Firefighters battled the blaze for several hours before the building came down in a matter of seconds, shown live on state television.
One witness described as like a “scene from a horror movie,” Reuters reported.
The Plasco building dated from the early 1960s and was among the first high-rises built in Tehran.
It included a shopping center and clothing workshops.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, dpa, and AFP