More turmoil in Iran; building collapse death toll reaches 31

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Online video shows Iranian riot police clashing with angry protesters in the southwestern city of Abadan, where state media reported the death toll from a building collapse on Monday reached 31 people.

The official IRNA news agency said two more bodies had been recovered from the rubble of a tower under construction that had collapsed a week earlier. Rescuers continued to clear debris and search for more victims under the collapsed portion of the Metropolitan building on Monday. Of the 37 injured, two remain hospitalized.

The deadly collapse has raised questions about the safety of similar buildings in the country and highlighted the ongoing crisis in Iran’s construction projects. The collapse is reminiscent of the 2017 fire and collapse of Tehran’s iconic Plasco building that killed 26 people.

It has also drawn angry protesters onto the streets of Abadan over the past week, leading to riots and repeated clashes with riot police.

The semi-official Fars news agency said mourners gathered at the site of the collapse after a group of protesters attacked a state television crew on Sunday night, forcing police to disperse people to restore order and safety.

Another semi-official news agency, Tasnim, reported that more bodies were believed to be under the 10-storey building.

Foreign Persian-language TV channels broadcast footage of Abadan showing young people clashing with police in the city and throwing stones at them. As in the past few days, it is unclear if anyone was injured or if police made any arrests.

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