High-rise building collapse in Tehran kills 30 firefighters

Thirty firefighters have been killed after a high-rise building collapsed in Tehran, Iran’s state-run Press TV has said. Fire crews had been battling a blaze at the Plasco building in the country’s capital before it collapsed in a matter of seconds live on television. A grocery shop owner who was forced by police to leave the area told Reuters the scene was “like a horror movie”. A thick plume of smoke rose over the rubble as many onlookers cried.

The flames could be seen kilometers away from the old building.

Fars news agency

The steel skeleton of the building could be seen bending towards the ground as around 100 fire engines and dozens of ambulances surrounded the scene. The semi-official Fars news agency said police have cordoned off the nearby British and Turkish embassies. It is not yet known what caused the fire at the building, which contained a shopping centre and clothing workshops. The blaze is thought to have started on the ninth floor and quickly spread to the workshops above.