TEHRAN -- Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi says the death toll from a building collapse in Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan has risen to 14.
“According to the latest figures, 14 people died and 32 were injured,” rising from Monday’s death toll of six, Vahidi said on Tuesday night, following the collapse of the 10-story Metropol commercial building, located in the city of Abadan.
In addition to those confirmed dead or injured, dozens more are still trapped under the rubble, he said, adding that search efforts continue in a bid to rescue any survivors.
The Metropol Building included two towers, one already built and the other under construction. It partially collapsed on Monday.
Initial reports said at least 80 people were trapped under the rubble.
After the incident, many teams of medics and rescue workers were dispatched to the spot to assist with rescue and relief efforts.
Deputy Minister of Health Saeed Karimi said 28 injured were discharged from hospitals in Abadan, adding that only one person is hospitalized in the intensive care unit, after visiting the wounded last night.
An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the collapse. Sadeq Ja’fari Chegani, the public prosecutor of Khuzestan, said 11 people have so far been arrested in the case.
Chegani said those arrested include the mayor of Abadan, two former mayors, several employees of the municipality of Abadan, and supervisors of the project.
He said arrest warrants have been issued against many people. Chegani further noted that the owner and the main contractor of the building were among the dead.