Plasco Building

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Plasco Building
Istanbul intc.jpg
Plasco Building in 2011
General information
Status Destroyed
Type Residential, light industrial commercial building shopping center restaurant
Location Tehran, Iran
Coordinates 35°41′41″N 51°25′15″E / 35.69472°N 51.42083°E / 35.69472; 51.42083Coordinates: 35°41′41″N 51°25′15″E / 35.69472°N 51.42083°E / 35.69472; 51.42083
Construction started 1960
Completed 1962
Opened 1962
Destroyed 19 January 2017
Roof 42.0 m (138 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 17

The Plasco Building (Persian: ساختمان پلاسکو‎, translit. Sakhteman-e Pelasko) was a 17-story high-rise landmark building in Tehran, the capital city of Iran. At the time of its construction in the 1960s it was the tallest building in Iran[1] and was considered an iconic part of the Tehran skyline.[2] The building collapsed on 19 January 2017 during a skyscraper fire.[3]


The Plasco building was built in 1962 by the prominent businessman Habib Elghanian, during a decade of rapid growth in Iran. The building was named after his plastics company.[2] At the time of its construction it was the tallest building in Iran,[1] and was considered an iconic landmark of the Tehran skyline, representing the drive for modernization under the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.[4][2]

After the 1979 Iranian revolution, Habib Elghanian was executed by the new government, which seized the building and handed ownership of it to the state-controlled Islamic Revolution Mostazafan Foundation, tied to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The Mostazafan Foundation operated the building until its collapse.[5]

At the time of the fire, the Plasco building was used as a residential and commercial building, with a major shopping center on its ground floor, a restaurant on its upper floor, and several clothing workshops.[6]

Fire and collapse

2017 Plasco Building collapse
Plasco collapsed Tasnim.jpg
Ruins of the building after the collapse
Date 19 January 2017
Time 11:20 local time (07:50 GMT)
Location Tehran, Iran
Deaths 20 (Official statistics; As of 26 January 2017, 22:33 local time)[7]
Non-fatal injuries 230 (Tehran Emergncy Medical Service official statistics; As of 26 January 2017, 21:34 local time)[8]
Missing 1 (Iran Police official estimate; announced 24 February 2017, 11:13 local time)[9]

On 19 January 2017, a fire started on the ninth floor at around 07:50 local time (04:20 GMT).[10] The building was occupied at the time by its residents, workers at the garment shops, and various tour groups that were being shown around the building.[2] Ten fire brigades arrived to fight the blaze. The combined brigades had been trying to stop the fire for hours—while assuring that the building had been evacuated—when the building's north wall collapsed without warning, leading to the collapse of the rest of the building a few moments later.[3] The collapse was captured on camera by Iran's state-run Press TV, which was filming the firefighting efforts.[3]

Several firefighters were in the building when the north wall fell, some of whom safely escaped before the building completely collapsed. A number had been fighting the fire from elevated aerial platforms that toppled over during the collapse of the building. Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the mayor of Tehran, said he believed that no other civilians were within the building when it collapsed, but eyewitnesses reported seeing residents crossing police lines to try to enter the building and recover their possessions.[3]

Twenty firefighters have been reported to be killed.[11] At least 70 others were injured by the collapse, with 23 taken to local hospitals having suffered severe injuries. The building primarily collapsed vertically, causing minimal damage to neighboring buildings.[12]

The remains of 15 firefighters were recovered after nine days of relief and rescue operations[citation needed], which were aided by the local military.[13] Tens of thousands of Iranians, including firefighters and senior officials, attended the funeral ceremony held at Tehran's Grand Mosalla. They were laid to rest in part of the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery that is reserved for martyrs. Iranian Leader Ayatollah Khamenei eulogized the firefighters in a message, calling them heroes and shaheeds.[14][15][16][17]

Following the building's collapse, its owner, the Mostazafan Foundation, declined to make a public statement.[5] Four days later, on 23 January 2017 the foundation apologized for their role in the possible failure in building's safety, but added that they are not a member of building's board who is responsible for the building's affairs. Mohammad Saeedikia, CEO of Mostazafan Foundation also said that the organization is ready to rebuild the Plasco in two years.[citation needed]

In April 2017 the government issued a report on the collapse of the building which stated that the Mostazafan Foundation had ignored warnings given by the authorities. The report also stated that government ministries had failed to enforce 22 national building regulations.[18]


See also


  1. ^ a b "Collapse of burning building kills dozens of firefighters". CBS News. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bengali, Shashank; Mostaghim, Ramin (19 January 2017). "50 firefighters killed in Iran as burning high-rise collapses". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Tehran fire: Many feared dead as high-rise collapses". BBC. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Erdbrink, Thomas; Bilefsky, Dan (19 January 2017). "At Least 20 Firefighters Killed in Tehran Building Collapse". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Amir Vahdat, Jon Gambrell (19 January 2017). "Iran Says Firefighters Killed in Collapse of Tehran High-Rise". Associated Press. 
  6. ^ "A 17-story apartment block has reportedly collapsed in Tehran". NBC News. Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  7. ^ گزارش لحظه به لحظه تسنیم از پنجمین روز آواربرداری در پلاسکو (in Persian), Tasnim, 23 January 2017, retrieved 23 January 2017, به گفته ملکی تا این لحظه پیکر 6 نفر زا زیر آوار ساختمان پلاسکو بیرون کشیده شده است که با احتساب فوت یکی از آتش‌نشانان در بیمارستان، آمار تلفات این حادثه به 7 تن رسیده است. 
  8. ^ رییس اورژانس کشور خبر داد: درمان 194 نفر در حادثه پلاسکو تا ساعت 21:30 دیشب (in Persian),, 23 January 2017, retrieved 23 January 2017 
  9. ^ سومین روز پلاسکو؛ ایران در سوگ قهرمانانش (in Persian), ISNA, 23 January 2017, retrieved 23 January 2017, به گزارش خبرنگار مستقر ایسنا در محل حادثه پلاسکو، ملکی، سخنگوی ستاد بحران پلاسکو با اعلام اینکه ١٦ آتش‌نشان قطعا شهید شده‌اندگفت: تخمین زده می‌شود در مجموع حداکثر پیکر ٢٥ نفر شامل پیکر شهدای آتش نشان و کسانی که خانواده آنها به نیروی انتظامی مراجعه کرده‌ و اعلام مفقودی کرده‌اند، زیر آوار پلاسکو محبوس هستند. 
  10. ^ News, ABC. "High-Rise Tower on Fire in Iranian Capital Collapses". ABC News. Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "Tehran fire: Twenty firemen killed as high-rise collapses". BBC. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  12. ^ Bozorgmehr, Shirzad; Smith-Spark, Laura (19 January 2017). "Iran: 'More than 20 firefighters dead' in Tehran building collapse". CNN. Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  13. ^ "At least 20 firefighters killed in Tehran building collapse". Reuters. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  14. ^ "Tens of thousands in Tehran for firefighters' funeral". euronews. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "PressTV-Iran bids farewell to heroic firefighters". Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  16. ^ "Pictures of the day: 31 January 2017". Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  17. ^ "Thousands attend funeral for fallen Iranian firefighters". Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  18. ^ "Report on collapse of Plasco building released". 8 April 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 

External links

  • "Plasco" Building Collapses in Tehran (another view) – a video of the collapse on YouTube
  • Plasco Building, Tehran
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