Radio Free Europe

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Death Toll In Iran Building Collapse Rises To 38

The death toll in a tragic building collapse in the southwestern Iranian city of Abadan has been raised to 38, Iranian officials say.

Emergency workers pulled another body from the rubble on June 5, and officials said they fear more victims of the May 23 collapse will yet be recovered. Iranian officials have not said how many people are still considered missing.

Thirty-seven people were injured when the 10-story residential and commercial building collapsed.

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.

Protesters have gathered at the scene of the disaster, denouncing officials and calling for accountability.

The authorities have reportedly restricted Internet access in the area to prevent locals from sharing videos or communicating with one another.

President Ebrahim Raisi made a surprise visit to the city on June 3, offering his condolences to relatives of victims. Raisi vowed that the government would "deal with the offenders" and "monitor construction more closely" in the future.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei mentioned the incident in a speech on June 4, saying that "those responsible must be brought to justice."

Based on reporting by AP and Al-Jazeera

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