Fire at shopping center in Iran injures 37
A fire at a shopping center in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz has injured 37 people, with local officials saying it was started by an explosion.
The explosion occurred at the city’s Hypermarket center in the early hours of Saturday, which caused walls of the building to collapse.
Mohammad Reza Alimanesh, head of the provincial emergency organization, said 15 people were hospitalized but none of them was in critical condition. Others just received outpatient service.
The cause of the incident was still being investigated but one official said negligence in safety measures appeared to have been behind the explosion.
“The cause of the blast and fire at the hypermarket was negligence and inattention to safety standards,” said head of the fire-fighting service at Shiraz Municipality Mohammad Farrokhzad.
He said a gas leak or an explosion of flammable items stored in the supermarket could be the cause.
The explosion was heard in many neighborhoods, shattering windows in nearby shops and buildings.
The incident revived the memories of a January fire at a high-rise building in Tehran which killed 20 people, including 16 firefighters, after it collapsed in a ball of fire.