Fire at drug rehab center in north Iran kills 32, wounds 16

The death toll from a fire at a drug rehabilitation center in northern Iran rose to 32, local media reported Friday, up from an earlier count of 27.

“Thirty-two people have been killed in the fire” which erupted at a drug rehabilitation center in Langarud, a city in the northern Gilan province, said ISNA news agency quoting the province’s deputy governor Mohammad Jalai.

Jalai said 16 others were wounded in the blaze, 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 center’s capacity was for 40 people.

Sadeghi said several suspects had already been arrested including the center’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 center’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 center in Tehran, killed at least 22 people, including 16 firefighters.

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