0819 GMT December 06, 2022
In a message on Thursday, which was read in a meeting chaired by President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, Ayatollah Khamenei called for the rescue operation to be accelerated and the casualty toll minimized, Press TV reported.
The death toll from the Monday collapse of the 10-story commercial building, known as Metropol, in the city of Abadan has now reached 24, making it one of the deadliest disasters in Iran in recent years, ISNA quoted Abadan’s Governor Ehsan Abbaspour as saying.
Abbaspour added that 37 people have so far been injured in the tragic incident.
The exact number of people trapped under the rubble is still not known, as the search operation has been going slowly and carefully for fear of the Metropol and adjacent buildings falling down.
Condoling with the families of the victims, the Leader urged the concerned authorities to prosecute those responsible and hand them punishment.
He also called for necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of such tragic incidents, saying it was the responsibility of all the officials of the country.
“The unfortunate incident in Abadan, along with the need for expediting action and the use of all capacities to reduce casualties, which is now of paramount importance, lays the responsibility on all of us – the officials of the country – to pursue the culprits of the incident and to give exemplary punishment to them, with the cooperation of the Judiciary, and to make a concerted effort to prevent its recurrence in all parts of the country,” the statement read.
“I deem it necessary to thank the government officials for their many days of activities to demand full follow-up and seriousness in this regard and to extend my condolences to the bereaved families of the victims of this tragedy,” it added.
The building, which partially collapsed on Monday, included two towers, one already ready and the other under construction.
The state television said at the time that at least 80 people were trapped under the rubble.
After the incident, several teams of medics and rescue workers were dispatched to the scene to assist with rescue and relief efforts.
An investigation is underway by a team of experts from the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development to determine the cause of the collapse, according to officials.
The provincial judicial officials say at least 10 people have been arrested so far, including the mayor and two former mayors, over the incident.