Iran: 30 firefighters killed in collapse of high-rise building

Iran's state-run Press TV announced that at least 30 firefighters were killed in the collapse, although it gave no source for the information.

Plasco building, an iconic structure in central Tehran just north of the Iranian capital's sprawling bazaar, is a popular tourist destination.

Soldiers, sniffer dogs and rescue workers searched the ruins of the 17-storey Plasco building after it crashed down in a giant cloud of dust.

Tall shopping center collapses in Tehran after massive blaze

The 50-year-old Plasco, home to a major shopping centre, was one of Tehran's most recognisable landmarks.

In the images broadcast on state television one side of the building started tumbling first almost knocking one firefighter off a ladder as he contended with the flames.

Several embassies are located near the building. Occupants of the building had been evacuated as the firefighters tackled the blaze. A side of the building came down first, tumbling perilously close to a firefighter perched on a ladder and spraying water on the blaze.

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Police have cordoned off the area, and rescue teams are on their way to the scene, state TV reported. Reports suggest that most of those hospitalised have already been discharged. An official from the local government said that he estimates more than 100 people to be trapped underneath the rubble of the now collapsed structure.

"We had repeatedly warned the building managers about the lack of safety of the building", he was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. "The building collapsed in front of me".

Iranian firefighters work to extinguish fire of the Plasco building before it collapsed, January 19, 2017.

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Manzarpour, who previously worked as a journalist in Tehran, said the foundation did nothing when the municipality threatened to take it to court for ignoring warnings about safety at Plasco.

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