Flere titalls personer har omkommet i den dramatiske kollapsen torsdag.

Dødstallene varierer noe. Det meldes at mellom 30-45 brannmenn er døde og flere titalls skadet.

Kollapset plutselig

Den kjente 17 etasjer høye Plasco-bygningen ligger midt i Teheran, litt nord for den iranske hovedstadens basarer.

Iransk fjernsyn viste torsdag hvordan brannmannskaper jobbet for å få brannen under kontroll da bygningen i løpet av noen sekunder kollapset.

Tykk røyk steg opp fra stedet, og sjokkerte tilskuere gråt av redsel.

Plasco-bygningen er et kombinert shoppingsenter og fabrikk.

Mange butikkeiere i nærheten skal ha blitt bedt om å forlate stedet da brannen utviklet seg. Flammene skal ha begynt i 9. etasje i bygget, men spredte seg svært raskt. Brannen startet rundt klokken 08.00 lokal tid torsdag morgen – før mange var rukket å komme til bygningen.

En av butikkeierne forteller til Reuters om grufulle scener.

– Det var som en skrekkfilm. Bygningen bare raste sammen foran meg, sier en lokal butikk eier.

Dårlig sikkerhet

Ifølge en talsperson for brannvesenet skal shoppingsenteret ikke ha hatt nok brannslokningsapparat.

– Vi har gjentatte ganger advart eieren av bygget om mangelen på sikkerhet, sier talsperson Jalal Maleki, skriver BBC News.

Minst 38 mennesker skal være skadd. Det er uvisst hvor mange som kan være fanget i ruinene.

Plasco-bygningen ble bygget tidlig på 1960-tallet. Den var på den tiden Teherans høyeste bygning.

NTB / TV 2

Firefighters try to put out a fire in a blazing high-rise building in Tehran, Iran January 19, 2017. Tasnim News Agency/Handout via REUTERS   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
Firefighters try to put out a fire in a blazing high-rise building in Tehran, Iran January 19, 2017. Tasnim News Agency/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. Foto: Handout
In this image made from video, a high-rise residential building collapses following a large fire, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, in Tehran, Iran. Authorities said that over 20 people were injured in the blast that erupted in the morning hours. (IRINN via AP)
In this image made from video, a high-rise residential building collapses following a large fire, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, in Tehran, Iran. Authorities said that over 20 people were injured in the blast that erupted in the morning hours. (IRINN via AP)
Fire breaks out in a high-rise building in Tehran, Iran January 19, 2017. Tasnim News Agency/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
Fire breaks out in a high-rise building in Tehran, Iran January 19, 2017. Tasnim News Agency/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. Foto: Handout
Firefighters battle a blaze that engulfed Iran's oldest high-rise, the 15-storey Plasco building in downtown Tehran on January 19, 2017.
State television said 200 firefighters had been called to the scene and 38 had already been injured battling the blaze before it fell. / AFP PHOTO / HO AND STR
Firefighters battle a blaze that engulfed Iran's oldest high-rise, the 15-storey Plasco building in downtown Tehran on January 19, 2017. State television said 200 firefighters had been called to the scene and 38 had already been injured battling the blaze before it fell. / AFP PHOTO / HO AND STR Foto: Ho Str