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Source: The Guardian

Nov 3, 2023

Dozens killed in blaze at drug rehab centre in Iran

Investigation under way after at 32 people reported to have died in fire in Langarud, north of Tehran

By Agence France-Presse in Tehran

Local media in Iran says 32 people have died in a fire at a drug rehabilitation centre in the north of the country, up from an earlier count of 27.

The death toll from the blaze at the centre in Langarud, a city in the northern Gilan province, was reported by the local ISNA news agency, quoting the province’s deputy governor, Mohammad Jalai.

Jalai said 16 others were wounded in the fire, four of whom were in “critical condition”.

The judiciary’s Mizan Online news website had earlier reported 27 dead and 12 wounded.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear but the province’s chief justice, Esmail Sadeghi, had opened an investigation, Mizan said, noting the centre’s capacity was for 40 people.

Sadeghi said several suspects had already been arrested, including the centre’s manager.

Footage of the fire broadcast by ISNA showed it lighting up the night sky and sending huge plumes of smoke into the air.

Other footage showed emergency personnel, firefighters and ambulances gathered outside the heavily damage site after the fire was contained, with images showing the centre’s roof had been destroyed, its windows shattered and its walls blackened by smoke.

In August, a fire broke out in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, damaging multiple shops but causing no casualties.

In January 2017, a fire at the 15-storey Plasco shopping centre in Tehran, killed at least 22 people, including 16 firefighters.

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