Iran building collapse kills at least 5 as rescuers search for 80 missing

Disaster could be one of country's worst building collapses in recent years

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At least five people have been killed and scores remain trapped under rubble in Abadan, Iran, near the border with Iraq, after a 10-storey building collapsed.

Rescue workers say 80 people could be trapped under the rubble of the mixed commercial and residential property development.

Video footage taken at the scene shows bloodied and dust-covered casualties being removed from the area as rescue workers sift through the rubble and mangled steel. Several cars also appear to have been crushed.

Building collapses are not uncommon in Iran, where a combination of corruption in the construction industry and lax health and safety standards make tall structures potentially dangerous.

In 2017, at least 20 people, including firefighters, were killed when a building collapsed in Tehran following a fire at the site.

ٍEhsun Abbaspour, the Abadan regional governor, told state TV that 27 people had been injured in the collapse and some were in critical condition.

The cause behind the collapse, which occurred during a sandstorm, is still unclear, but the owner of the building as well as the project manager of the construction company that built it have been arrested.

People lined up at the local blood bank to make donations for the injured following the collapse.

“I thought it was an earthquake at first,” said Ahmad, a shop owner in the neighbourhood who gave only one name as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

He said angry residents assaulted the city's mayor, Hossein Hamidpour, when he visited the scene.

Videos on social media show angry protesters gathering at the site as rescue teams work to retrieve casualties and clear the rubble.

No further information was immediately available and authorities said the incident was under investigation.

Updated: May 23, 2022, 3:40 PM