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Dozens dead after Tehran high-rise collapses in fire

By Andrew V. Pestano

Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Dozens of Iranian firefighters were killed or injured on Thursday after a fire led to the collapse of Tehran's iconic Plasco building, Iranian state media reported.

Iran's Press TV state media reported 30 firefighters were killed during the blaze. CNN reported that sources said 30 firefighters most likely died, adding the death toll could rise as 300 people were trapped in the building when it collapsed.

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A Tehran medical emergencies department spokesman said nearly 70 people, including firefirghers, were injured -- 23 of which had serious injuries.

The fire started at about 8 a.m. on the 53-year-old, 17-floor building's ninth floor, officials said. Plasco is home to hundreds of clothes and garment businesses and manufacturers.

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The fire was momentarily controlled before it burst -- setting half the building ablaze. Nearly all floors were on fire about half an hour later, causing the steel structure to melt and collapse. Firefighters and business owners are believed to be trapped underneath rubble, officials said.

A video posted by خانومِ شين (@roshanakshz) on

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