A high-rise shopping mall in central Tehran has collapsed after being engulfed in flames.
The mayor of Tehran,Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, said “At least 20 firefighters who were trapped under rubble have died.”
Emergency services were battling the blaze at the Plasco building, at around 8am local time when the 17-storey structure plummeted to the ground within seconds.
Those that perished were buried by the falling masonry.
Witnesses and those fighting the fire looked on in horror as the construction collapsed and plume of thick brown smoke and dust rose above the debris.
Reports indicate that scores of people have been injured.
The Plasco building was erected in the early 60s by Iranian Jewish businessman Habib Elghanian and named after his plastics manufacturing company.
The Iranian military are on the scene helping in the search for victims and survivors.