Iranians are in shock over the apparent loss of so many firefighters, with state television placing a black banner across the corner of the screen as a sign of mourning.
Hopes are fading to pull any survivors from the rubble of the collapsed high-rise. Rescue workers, soldiers and sniffer dogs are still frantically searching through the wreckage of the 15-storey Plasco building in downtown Tehran, which collapsed on Thursday after a four-hour blaze.
Smouldering fires and smoke are complicating the search.
Media keep airing scenes of weeping relatives of life sacrificing firefighters and people lining up to donate blood. The government declared Saturday January 21st a day of national mourning.
The cause of the fire and collapse is being investigated.
Housing hundreds of garment manufacturers and other businesses, warehouses and a mall, the Plasco building was one of Tehran's oldest high-rises and a feature of the city's skyline.
Plasco, a 17-floor commercial high-rise in downtown Tehran, caught fire on Thursday morning and collapsed at around 11:30 a.m. The exact number of casualties has yet to be officially released.
The tower is attached to a multistory shopping mall and is located just north of the city’s sprawling Grand Bazaar.
Release Date: 1/28/2017