Flags at half-mast after deadly Tehran building collapse 

January 21, 2017

TEHRAN – Iran’s Foreign Ministry ordered flags to be flown at half-mast at all Iranian embassies after a building engulfed by massive blaze collapsed in downtown Tehran on Thursday. 

“Following the Saturday national mourning declared by the government, all embassies and consulates of the Islamic Republic of Iran were ordered to fly the flags at half-mast,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Saturday. 

Al least 16 firefighters have been reportedly killed and some 75 injured with some more still unaccounted for.
 
Death toll is expected to rise as rescue operation continues around the clock at the site. 

Also, visitors can sign memorial guest books at Iranian embassies abroad, the spokesman said.
 
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed sorrow over the incident, offering condolences to the families of the victims.

Admiring messages of condolence have poured in.    

“I was deeply saddened by the news of the loss of lives as a result of the collapse of a multi-story building in Iran,” said President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. 

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov offered deepest condolences to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani over the incident. 

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in a message to Iranian First Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri condoled with families of the victims. 

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s office in a message offered condolences to Iranian nation and government over the horrifying incident.

“I would like to express my deepest condolences and grief on the sad occasion,” said Foreign Minister of Slovenia Karl Erjavec in a message on Friday. 

Also, a number of foreign ambassadors to Tehran extended condolences.
 
British Ambassador to Iran Nicholas Hopton tweeted, "So sad about the tragic loss of life in the building that collapsed near the embassy today. My sympathy to all those affected.”

The French embassy in Tehran in a tweeted message expressed sympathy with families of the victims of the incident.

AK/PA 

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