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Official death toll in Iran building collapse rises to 41

Iranians gather at the site where a ten-storey building collapsed as rescue operations continue in the southwestern city of Abadan on May 24, 2022. (TASNIM NEWS / AFP)
Iranians gather at the site where a ten-storey building collapsed as rescue operations continue in the southwestern city of Abadan on May 24, 2022. (TASNIM NEWS / AFP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The death toll in the collapse of a building in southwestern Iran rises to at least 41, state media reports, two weeks after the disaster struck.

Ehsun Abbaspour, the governor of the city of Abadan, gave the figure based on an official report, state television says.

The May 23 collapse at the Metropol Building some 660 kilometers (410 miles) southwest of the capital, Tehran, has dredged up painful memories of past national disasters and shined a spotlight on shoddy construction practices, government corruption and negligence in Iran.

It follows weeks of sporadic protests roiling the oil-rich but impoverished Khuzestan province over skyrocketing prices after the government cut subsidies for several food staples. There have been protests in Abadan over the collapse, which have seen police club demonstrators and fire tear gas.

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