Iran jails 21 after deadly building collapse kills over 40 people

Iran jails 21 after deadly building collapse kills over 40 people
21 people were jailed in Iran following the collapse of a 10-storey building in which at least 43 people were killed.
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Dozens gathered for a memorial ceremony for the victims of the high-rise collapse [source: Getty]

Iran's judiciary said on Wednesday that 21 people including high-ranking local officials have been jailed after they were convicted over the deadly collapse of a building that triggered widespread anti-corruption protests.

The 10-storey Metropol building that was under construction in the city of Abadan in southwestern Khuzestan province collapsed on May 23, leading to the deaths of 43 people.

"The 21 defendants were sentenced to three years in prison for manslaughter caused by failing to respect government regulations and building safety, resulting in the deaths of 36 men and 7 women," the Judicial Authority reported on its Mizan Online site.

It said the current mayor of Abadan, two former mayors and several city officials were among those convicted.

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The disaster was one of Iran's deadliest in years. It took emergency services almost two weeks to recover the bodies of those who died.

The tragedy sparked a series of demonstrations across the country against authorities accused of corruption and incompetence.