The death toll from a building collapse in southwestern Iran has risen to 10

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TEHRAN, Iran – The death toll from a commercial building still under construction in southwestern Iran has risen to 10, with more bodies being recovered from the rubble of the city of Abadan, Iranian media reported.

Dozens were stranded on Monday when the 10-storey Metropolis building collapsed, with shops and even some cars crushed on nearby streets. Initially, five people were reported killed, but the death toll doubled a day later. At least 39 people were injured, most of them light.

According to state TV, rescue operations were underway on Tuesday and dozens of people had been evacuated. An investigation has been launched into why the building on Amir Kabir Street collapsed in a sandstorm.

The owner of the building as well as the project manager of the construction company that built it were arrested on Monday. On Tuesday, state TV said six more people had been arrested who were involved in the construction of the building or from local authorities. According to the semi-official news agency Tasnim, a total of 10 people, including city mayor Hossain Hamidpur, have been arrested.

Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi has expressed his condolences and called on local authorities to go to the bottom of the case. Iran’s acting vice president for economic affairs Mohsen Razai and Interior Minister Ahmed Wahidi visited the site.

The investigation into the case began in a separate parliament on Tuesday.

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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