A building collapse in southern Iran has killed at least five people and injured dozens more

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TEHRAN, Iran – At least five people were killed when a 10-storey commercial building under construction collapsed in the southwestern Iranian city of Abadan on Monday, state television reported.

The death toll was expected to be much higher as more than 80 people are believed to be trapped under the rubble after the Metropolis building collapsed, with shops and even some vehicles crushed on nearby streets.

Abdan’s regional governor Ehsan Abbaspur told state TV that 26 people were injured in the crash on Amir Kabir Street, some in critical condition.

The report did not specify what caused the crash, which occurred during a sandstorm, but said the owner of the building as well as the project manager of the construction company had been arrested.

People stand in line at the local blood transfusion center to donate blood for the injured.

“At first I thought it was an earthquake,” said Ahmed, a shop owner in the area who gave only one name because he was not authorized to speak to the media. He said that when the mayor of the city Hossain Hamidpur visited the spot, the agitated residents insulted him.

Social media videos showed angry protesters gathering at the scene as rescue teams were still working to rescue the victims and clear the rubble. Rescuers from a nearby town rushed to the rescue.

No further information was immediately available and authorities said the incident was under investigation.

Many remember the 2017 fire in Tehran’s capital and the collapse of the iconic Plasco building that claimed the lives of dozens of people.

In 1978, hundreds of people died in a fire at the Rex Movie Theater in Abadan. Addan hosts the oldest oil refinery in the Middle East, launched online in 1912.

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