The death toll from a collapsed building in the southwestern Iranian city of Abadan has risen to 31.
The official IRNA news agency said on Monday two more bodies had been pulled from the rubble of an under-construction tower that collapsed a week ago.
Rescue workers were still clearing the debris of the 10-storey building and searching for more victims under the toppled part of the Metropol Building. Out of 37 injured people, two remain hospitalised.
Authorities investigating the disaster have detained Abadan’s current and past mayors and several other municipal employees, amid accusations that safety warnings were ignored. So far, 13 people have also been arrested for building violations.
The deadly collapse has raised questions about the safety of similar buildings in the country and underscored an ongoing crisis in Iranian construction projects. The collapse reminded many of the 2017 fire and collapse of the iconic Plasco building in Tehran that killed 26 people.
Protesters took to the streets of Abadan over the past week, leading to eruptions of unrest and clashes with riot police on several occasions.
The semi-official Fars news agency said mourners gathered at the site of the collapse on Sunday night when a group of protesters attacked the state television’s camera crew, forcing police to disperse people to restore order and security.
Tasnim, another semi-official news agency, reported more bodies are believed to be under the building.
Foreign-based Persian-language television channels carried footage from Abadan that showed young people clashing with police in the city and throwing rocks at them.
It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured or if the police made any arrests.