The death toll from a tower block collapse in southwestern Iran on Tuesday rose to 14 as authorities announced the arrest of officials accused of being “responsible” for the tragedy.
State television reported Monday that a 10-story unfinished metropolitan building in Abdan, the capital of Khuzestan province, had partially collapsed.
“According to the latest figures, 14 people have been killed and 32 injured,” the death toll rose to six on Monday, Interior Minister Ahmed Wahidi told the official IRNA news agency from Abadan.
Dozens more are expected to be trapped under the rubble in addition to confirming the dead or injured.
Search efforts are underway to rescue any “survivors”, Wahidi said.
The building is located on the busiest street in Abdan, where “commercial, medical and office” buildings predominate, according to state television.
The owner of the building, who was arrested on Monday, was among the dead, according to the Judiciary’s Mizan online website.
The provincial justice department said 10 people had been arrested, including the mayor and two former mayors, who were accused of being “responsible” for the collapse, the website said.
Among those arrested were several municipal employees and a building project supervisor.
Several eyewitnesses said in a televised interview that the tower block collapsed “suddenly”.
An investigation has been launched to find out the cause of the collapse.
Provincial authorities declared Wednesday a day of mourning.
Abadan, a city of about 230,000 people, is located 660 kilometers (410 miles) southwest of the capital.
In January 2017, 22 people – including 16 firefighters – were killed in a fire at the Plasco Building, a 15-storey shopping center, the oldest in Tehran.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)