The Edition
facebook icon twitter icon instagram icon linkedin icon


Iran police tear-gas protesters after building collapse: media

Lamya Abdulla
28 May 2022, MVT 12:42
A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency shows Iranian vice president Mohammad Mokhber (C) visiting the site where a ten-storey building collapsed in the southwestern city of Abadan on May 27, 2022. - A large section of the 10-storey Metropol building that was under construction in the city of Abadan, in Khuzestan province, crumbled on May 23, causing one of Iran's deadliest such disasters in years. More than four days after the tower block's collapse, rescue teams were still recovering bodies from under slabs of cement. -- Photo: Iranian Presidency / AFP
Lamya Abdulla
28 May 2022, MVT 12:42

Iranian police fired tear gas and warning shots to disperse protesters in the southwestern city of Abadan where a tower block collapse killed 28 people, local media reported on Saturday.

A large section of the 10-storey Metropol building that was under construction in Abadan, Khuzestan province, crumbled on Monday in one of Iran's deadliest such disasters in years.

It was the third night of protests in Abadan and other cities of the province which borders Iraq, local media reported.

Security forces in Abadan "used tear gas and shot in the air near the collapse site" on Friday night to disperse hundreds of protesters, who were mourning the lives lost and demanding justice for the perpetrators of the incident, Fars news agency said.

A number of people shouted "death to incompetent officials" and "incompetent officials must be executed", similar to calls in protests on Wednesday and Thursday nights, it added.

Elsewhere in Khuzestan another protest, in the city of Bandar-e Mahshahr, saw people chanting while banging on traditional drums and hitting cymbals, images published by Fars showed.

People also took to the streets further afield including in the central Iranian cities of Isfahan, Yazd and Shahin Shahr on Friday to express sympathy with the victims of the tragedy, Fars news agency said.

On Thursday night, a shop in Abadan belonging to the family of the building's owner "was set on fire and destroyed by unknown individuals," Tasnim news agency reported earlier.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi, who is in Abadan, said on Saturday that "two more bodies were recovered" and sent for identification, raising the death toll to 28, according to state news agency IRNA.

Officials, however, have not announced how many are people still trapped under the rubble

The number of suspects has also risen.

Khuzestan's provincial judiciary said on Saturday that 13 people have now been arrested in relation with the incident, including the mayor and two former mayors, IRNA said.

In a statement posted on his official website on Thursday, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for those responsible to be prosecuted and punished.

First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber told state television that "widespread corruption existed between the contractor, the builder, the supervisor and the licensing system".

In January 2017, 22 people, including 16 firefighters, died in a blaze that engulfed the 15-storey Plasco shopping centre in Tehran.

© Agence France-Presse

Share this story