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21 January 2017, 12:35 | Ella Tate
At least 25 people were injured in the collapse
The Plasco building is a very old building in southern Tehran. In the morning the whole country had experienced the trauma of watching the collapse live on state television.
The mayor said at least 20 firefighters were killed as they tried to put out the inferno. "They are martyrs. They lost their lives when trying to help people".
Mehr quoted Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as expressing deep sorrow for the collapse and saying "all efforts should focus on saving the firefighters trapped in the site". State TV said the death toll might increase.
The blaze began hours earlier. The rescue operation still continues.
Iran's Fars news agency reported that the majority of shop owners and residents in the Plasco had been successfully evacuated before the collapse.
Around 75 more are reported injured and hospitalised in the initial blaze, according to Iran's state-run IRNA news agency. It said one of the first firefighters to be reached had demanded to be let back inside to save his colleagues. The high-rise building was engulfed by a fire then collapsed on Thursday as scores of firefighters battled the blaze.
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