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30 fire fighters killed as blaze topples Tehran’s oldest trade tower

IANS | Tehran |

At least 30 Iranian fire fighters were killed in a blaze that brought down a multi-storeyed commercial building in Tehran, state media reported on Thursday.

An official was quoted as saying that between 50 to 100 people were believed to have been trapped under the rubble, Press TV reported, adding that nearby buildings, including the embassies of Turkey and Britain, have been evacuated.

"The building is one of the oldest buildings in Tehran," it said, adding that "the Plasco building is located in southern Tehran and is mostly a commercial building".

The 17-storeyed building came down in a matter of seconds, with a thick plume of smoke instantly rising over the site, it added.

The fire spread through the building in the early hours of Thursday, despite efforts by Tehran fire fighters to put out the blaze, Iranian state news agency IRNA reported, adding that Plasco Trade Centre was the biggest in the Iranian capital.

The commercial tower, located on Jomhoori Avenue, was built in 1962 and named after a plastics manufacturing company. The Plasco building includes a shopping mall and clothing workshops.