Iran building collapse death toll rises to five

Iran building collapse death toll rises to five
Iran's Fars news agency said policemen were securing the planned demolition of 'unauthorised buildings' in south Tehran when the buildings collapsed. / bne IntelliNews
By bne IntelIiNews August 7, 2023

Five people including two policemen have been killed and more than a dozen others injured after five neighbouring buildings in southwest Tehran collapsed on August 6, IRNA reported.

Following orders to demolish the illegal several-storey structures, police and demolition crews were caught out when the structures came crashing down upon them in what is the latest incident in the Iranian capital of shoddy construction work.

The process to tear down the dangerous structures was by a judicial order to address unsafe and illegal construction in the southern low-income Khalazir area of the capital.

During the demolition, five neighbouring buildings collapsed due to their instability and lack of adherence to safety standards, with reports later saying they were built without foundations.

Consequently, four police officers and two municipality staff members were trapped under the debris.

Two police later died of their injures, Fars News Agency reported.

According to Tasnim News Agency, the bodies of Colonel Yazdan Soleiman Abadi, the head of Tenth Base of Tehran’s Public Security Police, and Sergeant Hossein Esmaeili, a member of the same base, were retrieved and identified from the debris.

Ahmad Sadeghi, a member of Tehran City Council and the former head of Tehran's Crisis Management Organisation, went to the scene of the incident and told Fars reporter: “Buildings are being constructed in this neighbourhood without even having foundations, and their structures are built overnight.”

He continued, “Illegal builders took advantage of last year's conditions and built these buildings. They are employing the worst kind of thugs and do not allow anyone to approach these buildings.

“If these buildings were constructed and people lived in them, a severe disaster would occur in case of a collapse.”

Iran has seen a spate of massive building collapses and fires from poor construction and maintenance in recent years, the most recent occurring in Abadan in the country’s south.

That incident saw some 43 people killed as a partially finished 10-story Metropol Tower building collapsed on a busy shopping street.