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Death Toll Reaches 37 In Abadan Building Collapse As Iranians Continue Protests.

Rescue workers carry a body out of the wreckage of the collapsed 10-story Metropolis building in the port city of Abadan.

Rescue workers carry a body out of the wreckage of the collapsed 10-story Metropolis building in the port city of Abadan.

The death toll from the collapse of a residential building in the Iranian port city of Abadan has reached 37 as demonstrators continued to protest what they see as widespread negligence and corruption among officials.

Officials said on June 1 that another body had been found under the rubble, bringing to 37 the number of those killed while another 37 were injured in the collapse on May 23 of the Metropolis 10-story residential and commercial building.

Iran's Education Ministry said on May 31 that five of those killed were students.

It is not yet clear if other bodies are still buried under the rubble.

The collapse of the unfinished building was one of Iran's deadliest such disasters in years.

Authorities have blamed the collapse of the building on local corruption and lax safety and say 13 people, including mayors and other officials, have so far been arrested for construction violations.

But the collapse sparked daily protests in the city in the oil-producing region of Khuzestan as the country reels from unrest over rising food prices and other economic issues amid the harsh sanctions imposed by the United States over Iran's nuclear program.

As mourners gathered late into the night, videos posted on social media purported to show a heavy security force presence in Abadan as authorities sought to quell the weeklong protests over the disaster.

Protests expanded, with demonstrators setting fire to tires and blocking roads in the nearby town of Shadegan late on May 31. The authenticity of the footage could not be immediately confirmed from independent sources.

Video posted on social media earlier showed some protesters shouting "Death to Khamenei," a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

With reporting by Reuters

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