Provinces

Judiciary: 20 Indicted Over Metropol Tower Collapse

July 21, 2022
OstanWire
1 min read
Scores of people were killed in the collapse of the Metropol commercial complex on May 23
Scores of people were killed in the collapse of the Metropol commercial complex on May 23

Twenty people have been indicted over the collapse of the Metropol building in Abadan more than 50 days after the disaster struck, the Iranian Judiciary Media Center announced on Thursday.

The individuals were not named in the official statement, but went on to say that in all, 21 people bore responsibility. The would-be 21st person and the building’s owner, Hossein Abdolbaghi, was said to have been killed in the collapse.

Twenty-three people were originally said to have been arrested in connection with the tragedy on May 23, when the unfinished 10-storey commercial complex gave way with hundreds of people inside, having not been built in compliance with safety standards.

Scores of people were buried under the rubble. Official records counted more than 80 dead, many of them young people and shop staff. But the remains of many others were never found, including some of the reported 150 contract workers who were onsite at Tower 2 that morning.

The haphazard nature of the build has been widely blamed on corruption within the local authority. Also on Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Gholam Abbas Turki confirmed that Abadan city council had held a 4.5 per cent stake in the Metropol project.

He said: "If you ask who is to blame in this matter, part of it goes back to the untransparent and defective structure of the urban management of Arvand [the Free Zone east of Abadan]."

Without naming officials, he said the city administration had neglected its “supervisory duty” while those tasked with overseeing the development were guilty of “numerous derelictions and faults”.

Karim Hosseini, vice-chairman of the Iranian parliament’s Social Affairs Committee, has previously called the Metropol disaster “a symbol of the absence of proper management, but moreover, of a system of infringements and cronyism”.

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