At least 13 die as huge explosion tears through buildings in Iranian capital Tehran
- Ten women and three men are reported to have died in the explosion on June 30
- The explosion occurred at the Sina At’har health centre in the north of the capital
- A number of videos on social media appeared to show multiple explosions
Thirteen people were killed and six injured on Tuesday in an explosion at a medical clinic in the north of the Iranian capital Tehran, Fars news agency reported, quoting a state official.
The blast was triggered by a gas leak, Tehran Deputy Governor Hamid Reza Goudarzi told state television.
Ten women and three men died in the explosion at the Sina At’har health centre, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said on TV.
‘An explosion was reported at 20:56 (16:26 GMT) followed by a fire at Sina At’har clinic. Medical units were dispatched immediately,’ the EMS said in a statement.
‘The death of 13 people has been confirmed. Six have also been injured and transferred’ to a hospital, the service added.
Ten of the casualties were women, Tehran’s police chief Hossein Rahimi told ISNA.
Pictured: Footage of a powerful explosion at a clinic in northern Tehran. The blast at Sina At’har health centre caused damage to buildings in the vicinity and sent a plume of thick black smoke into the night sky, state television reported, June 30, 2020
Left: Fire and smoke rise from the building, shown in footage recorded from a near-by building of the explosion in Tehran on June 30, 2020. Right: First responders gather at the scene of an explosion at the Sina At’har health centre in the north of Iran’s capital Tehran northern Tehran on June 30, 2020
Tehran fire department spokesman Jalal Maleki told state TV that the explosion occurred as gas canisters caught fire in the clinic’s basement.
Some of the victims ‘were in upper floors in operation rooms, who were either patients being operated on or those with them,’ he said.
‘They unfortunately lost their lives due to the heat and thick smoke.’
The blaze was extinguished around two hours later.
Videos posted on social media appeared to show multiple explosions at the north Tehran site and firefighters using ladders to access the roof of the building.
Iran’s supreme leader – Ali Khamenei – is yet to make a statement.
A fire caused by the blast has been extinguished, Jalal Maleki, the Tehran Fire Department spokesman said on state TV.
Two adjacent buildings were also damaged by the explosion.
The clinic, which had 25 employees inside at the time of the blast, primarily carries out light surgeries and medical imaging, Harirchi said.
Last week, an explosion occurred close to a sensitive military site near Tehran which the defence ministry said was caused by a leaking tank at a gas storage facility. No deaths or injuries were reported.
Pictured: First responders gather at the scene of an explosion at the Sina At’har health centre in the north of Iran’s capital Tehran northern Tehran on June 30, 2020
The incident comes four days after an explosion near a military complex rocked the Iranian capital.
It took place in the Parchin area in the southeast of Tehran due to ‘leaking gas tanks’, Iran’s defence ministry said on Friday, adding there were no casualties.
Parchin is a site suspected of having hosted conventional explosion tests applicable to nuclear power, which the Islamic republic denies.
It had come under scrutiny from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency in 2015.
Iran had refused the IAEA access to the site because of the nature of its work, but the agency’s then chief, the late Yukiya Amano, paid a visit there.
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