Tehran’s iconic Plasco building collapses after fire; 30 reportedly dead


Dozens of firefighters were killed when a blazing high-rise building collapsed after a blaze in Iran’s capital, state-run Press TV reported Thursday.

The broadcaster put the death toll at 30. It gave no source for the information. NBC News could not immediately independently confirm Press TV’s report.

Earlier, authorities said at least 25 people had been injured in the fire at Tehran’s iconic Plasco building. The tower is attached to a multistory shopping mall and is located just north of the city’s sprawling bazaar.

Local media reported that there were 200 firefighters on the scene at the time of the building collapse.

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Police had previously blocked off streets around the 17-story structure, which was among the first high-rises built in the Iranian capital.

NBC News initially reported that the building was an apartment block but it later emerged that it is actually mostly commercial.

Live footage aired on Iranian television showed the incident.

A firefighter could be seen perched on a ladder spraying water onto the burning building as it fell..

Jalal Maleki, a fire department spokesman, told Iranian state television that 10 fire stations responded to the blaze, which was first reported around 8 a.m. local time (11:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday).

The tower was built in the early 1960s by Iranian Jewish businessman Habib Elghanian and named after his plastics manufacturing company. It was the tallest building in the city at the time of its construction.

Elghanian was tried on charges that included espionage and executed in the months after the 1979 Islamic Revolution that brought the current ruling system to power — a move that prompted many members of the country’s longstanding Jewish community to flee.

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