Plasco building collapse

Plasco deadly tragedy in media spotlight

January 22, The Iran Project – Iran’s oldest high-rise in downtown Tehran collapsed on Jan 19 following a major fire in the building, leaving many firefighters buried under rubble. The tragic incident has echoed across the major Iranian and global media with almost all of them praised bravery and sacrifices of the firefighters engaged in the Plasco building fire rescue operations.

The 17-story building of textile company Plasco has totally collapsed after a conflagration consummated all stories beginning 8:00 AM local time.

The blaze was almost uncontrollable and Tehran’s 10 firefighter centers’ staff failed to quench the fire. Around 11:35 local time, the building collapsed with dust covering the much-busy area of Jumhouri St., just in the vicinity of Tehran Great Bazaar.

Firefighters battled the blaze for several hours before the collapse as police kept out shopkeepers and others trying to rush back in to collect their valuables.

Deep Sorrow

In separate messages, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani expressed their deep sorrow over the burning and collapse of the 17-story Plasco building.

The Leader called the incident “painful” and said rescue operations should be prioritized.

Meanwhile, Rouhani ordered Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli, the interior minister, to explore the causes behind the incident and to provide a report on it as soon as possible.

 Public Mourning Day

On Jan 20, Iranian government announced one day of public mourning due to a fire tragedy in Tehran’s Plasco Trade Center, which claimed the lives of several people, including firefighters.

Praising the sacrifices of firefighters in protection of people’s life, the government offered condolences to the bereaved families of firefighters and wished recovery for the injured.

 Electrical Fault

Tehran’s Deputy Governor General for Security Affairs Mohsen Hamedani blamed an electrical fault for the massive blaze that led to collapse of the building.

A massive fire broke out in the top stories of the building at around 8 a.m. on Thursday (Jan 19) morning, and the whole building crumpled to the ground four hours later.

The rescue operation was hampered mainly by the metal facing of the building, which has limited access to the inner parts.

 President Rouhani tours Plasco scene

Meantime, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani praised bravery and sacrifices of the firefighters engaged in the Plasco building fire rescue operations while he toured the site of the destructive inferno.

The President further praised the efforts by rescue workers to save the lives of people who were buried alive under the debris.

Global Sympathies 

On Jan 21, Foreign Minister, Mohammad-Javad Zarif appreciated ‘sympathies from across the globe’ for the tragic collapse of Plasco Trade Center. (

Following the martyrdom of a group of firefighters in the wake of Plasco Trade Center, several global leaders in separate messages to their Iranian counterparts extended condolences on the sad occasion.

Meanwhile, Iran’s flags flied at half-mast in Iran embassy in several countries across the globe.

RT, The ABC net and NBC News along with so many other news outlets covered the incident, as well.

Daily Mail was also among the foreign media that covered the Plasco tragic incident writing that the authorities described the building, built more than five decades ago, as having a weak structure.

Noting that the fire was the worst in Tehran since a 2005 blaze at a historic mosque killed 59 worshippers and injured nearly 200 others.

The also quoted a Red Crescent aid official as saying that 13 teams of sniffer dogs and four robot search devices were working at the scene.

“I was inside and suddenly I felt the building is shaking and is about to collapse. As we gathered colleagues and got out, a minute later the building collapsed,” said Ali, a firefighter at the scene. Local media said the workshops were especially full of clothes in the build-up to Nowruz, the Iranian New Year which falls in March.

Plasco fire was distinguished after three days, but the incident foments the public grief nationwide.

The deadly incident regarding its magnitude was the first of its kind and every one hope such event no to be happened again.