Firefighter fatalities

An estimated 20 firefighters were killed when a high-rise building in Tehran caught fire and collapsed, but the final death toll will not be revealed until after thousands of tons of rubble have been scoured.

Two hundred firefighters had been battling the blaze in the landmark 17-storey Plasco building for several hours before the structure collapsed and fell to the ground in a matter of seconds.

Originally built in 1962 the Plasco Tower was once one of Tehran’s tallest landmarks and it contained both a shopping centre and clothing workshops.

Many of the workers were quickly evacuated when the blaze started but initial reports said that  along with the high death roll a further 70 people suffered injuries, 23 of which were described as serious.