In the 10 days since the Metropol building collapsed in Abadan, Iranian regime officials are continuing to refuse to give the exact number of victims that were buried under the rubble of the building. Reports so far have indicated that 39 bodies have been extracted
One sad story that has made headlines is that of a newly married couple who fell victim to the regime’s corruption.
Maryam Ghorbani and Ramin Masoumi, a young couple married for less than two years, opened the Mary Café in the Metropol building hoping to improve their life. On the third day following the building’s collapse, rescuers discovered their bodies.
One of Maryam’s relatives said, “Maryam’s father has gone crazy. He raised Maryam alone. Maryam’s mother died when she was 9 years old.”
According to a person close to the family of Maryam Ghorbani, until the evening of the second day after the incident, they were still able to call Ramin’s cellphone. Ramin was still alive then and managed to answer the phone, but Maryam did not respond.
Another victim, beloved by Abadan’s people because of his chivalry, was Payman Bavandi. He was buried in the presence of many people who bid their last farewell. Peyman worked with his father for years selling iron, but after his father retired recently, Peyman began to run a single warehouse in the Ahmadabad area.
According to the Khuzestan General Directorate of Education, five students from Khorramshahr also lost their lives in this tragic incident. Different people from all walks of life and various age groups were buried under the rubble, with the highest number of victims being students and workers.
The latest reports by some of the regime’s media have estimated that at least 150 to 200 workers were buried below the rubble and that the regime has not only done anything to save them but has also refused to extract their bodies.
The state-run website Emtedad quoted a witness as saying, “I was 50 meters away from the Metropol Tower when this tragedy happened. The weather was very hot, maybe over 40 degrees. Suddenly we saw a woman and a Metropol worker in completely dirty clothes running in our direction, frightened. The worker entered the shop in fear and shouted that Abadan has no supporters. We gave him glass water and when he could concentrate, he said that more than 200 people are buried. He shouted constantly that they all died.”
He then added, “A person working as the food courier said that he had delivered 150 meals to the workers a few minutes before the accident. On Mino Island, everyone said that 90 workers from this area worked in the Metropol Tower. The Salehian family also said that many young people on Mino Island had found work in the Tower.”
In a tweet, Dariush Memar, a journalist from Abadan, wrote, “Some workers whose names have been identified and to this day are still under the rubble of the Metropol are Mansour Taghipour, Manzar Motavari, Karim Bandari, Mohamad Hamidian, Amir Behbahani, Rahman Behbahani, Hamid Falipour, and Mansour Eidani. There are workers whose names we do not know.”
Quoting another citizen in another tweet, he wrote, “Message of a citizen from Abadan: “My brother is in the fire department and has just arrived home. He says that after taking out Maryam’s body, they don’t care about the others. They dismiss all the teams. They want to demolish the building. He says you can’t breathe because of the stench.”
This incident will not be the first nor the last, as many buildings are often built and sold without adhering to the necessary standards.
The head of the Khuzestan Building Engineering System Organization said, “There are similar buildings and structures in Abadan like the Metropol building and a lot of correspondence has been done in this regard. The Engineering System Organization is only responsible for issuing warnings and informing about the unsafe structures.”
Referring to the issuance of 5,000 warnings for non-standard structures in Khuzestan last year by this organization, he said, “This organization does not have the executive power to stop problematic projects. With this number of warnings issued last year, some projects were stopped, but others continued to be built for some reason.”