Iran building collapse death toll rises to 31, as unrest grows
Iranian riot police clashed with angry protesters in the southwestern city of Abadan, according to online videos, and state-run media reported that the death toll from a building collapse there reached 31 on Monday.
The official IRNA news agency said two more bodies were pulled from the rubble of an under-construction tower that collapsed a week ago. Rescue workers were continuing to clear the debris Monday and search for more victims under the toppled part of the Metropol Building. Out of 37 injured people, two remain hospitalised.
The deadly collapse has raised questions about the safety of similar buildings in the country and underscored an ongoing crisis in Iranian construction projects. The collapse reminded many of the 2017 fire and collapse of the iconic Plasco building in Tehran that killed 26 people.
It also drew angry protesters to the streets of Abadan over the past week, leading to eruptions of unrest and clashes with riot police on several occasions.
The semiofficial Fars news agency said mourners gathered at the site of the collapse on Sunday night when a group of protesters attacked the state television's camera crew, forcing police to disperse people to restore order and security.
Tasnim, another semiofficial news agency, reported that more bodies are believed to be under the 10-story building.
Foreign-based Farsi-language television channels carried footage from Abadan that showed young people clashing with police in the city and throwing rocks at them. As over the past few days, it wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was injured or if police made any arrests.