TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Rescue teams at the site of a 10-story collapsed building in southwestern Iran pulled seven more bodies from the rubble on Friday, bringing the death toll in the disaster to 26, Iranian state TV reported Friday.
A tower at the Metropol Building that was under-construction in the city of Abadan, collapsed on Monday. Thirty-seven people were rescued, three of them are still being treated in hospital. It remains unclear how many more people are buried beneath the rubble.
Iran’s senior vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, traveled to Abadan and visited the site of the incident on Friday.
Authorities have arrested 11 suspects in a widening probe, including the city’s mayor.
The deadly collapse has raised questions about the safety of similar buildings in the country and underscored an ongoing crisis in Iranian construction projects that has seen other disasters in this earthquake-prone nation.
Abadan provincial officials have cited “disregard for technical standards” and “”overbuilding" during construction, saying negligence caused the collapse. The building was legally permitted to be only a six-story tower, but four floors had been added during construction.
The collapse reminded many of the 2017 fire and collapse of the iconic Plasco building in the Iranian capital, Tehran, that killed 26 people.