Iran protesters seek justice as building collapse toll rises
TEHRAN, May 27, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Hundreds of people took to the streets in
southwestern Iran demanding justice after a tower block collapse killed 24
people, news outlets in the Islamic republic said on Friday.
A large section of the 10-storey Metropol building that was under
construction in the city of Abadan, in Khuzestan province, crumbled on
Monday, causing one of Iran's deadliest such disasters in years.
Images published by Fars news agency showed hundreds of residents marching
along Abadan's streets on Thursday night, mourning those who lost their lives
by banging on traditional drums and hitting cymbals.
Some shouted "Death to incompetent officials" and hailed the "Martyrs of
Metropol", Fars said.
People also took to the streets of Khorramshahr city, in the same province,
expressing their sympathy with the families of those who died and calling for
"a decisive and serious" trial of those responsible, it added.
Similar protests were held on Wednesday night in Abadan, state TV had
More than four days after the tower block's collapse, rescue teams were still
recovering bodies from under slabs of cement.
A video posted on Tasnim news agency's website on Friday showed rescuers
carrying a gurney with a body wrapped in a black bag.
Abadan governor Ehsan Abbaspour, cited by ISNA news agency, said the number
of people killed in the disaster stood at 24, up from 19 previously.
Officials said 37 people were also injured, although most have since been
discharged from hospital.
It remains unknown how many people may still be trapped under the rubble.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had called for perpetrators to
be prosecuted and punished, in a statement posted on his official website on
The provincial judiciary said at least 10 people were arrested following the
incident, including the mayor and two former mayors, accused of being
"responsible" for the collapse, the Judiciary's Mizan Online website
An investigation has been opened into the cause of the disaster in Abadan, a
city of 230,000 people, 660 kilometres (410 miles) southwest of Tehran.
First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber visited Abadan on Friday to
"investigate the dimensions of the building collapse incident", according to
In a previous major disaster in Iran, 22 people, including 16 firefighters,
died in a blaze that engulfed the capital's 15-storey Plasco shopping centre
in January 2017.