Iranians are partaking in their thousands in a funeral ceremony for the 16 firefighters, who lost their lives battling a massive blaze that recently consumed a high-rise in downtown Tehran.
The ceremony, which is being held in the capital’s Grand Mosalla on Monday, was attended by a group senior officials, including cabinet ministers and lawmakers.
A procession is to carry the bodies to the capital’s Behesht-e-Zahra Cemetery, where they will be laid to rest. Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani performed the funeral prayer for the victims.
A memorial ceremony is to follow on Wednesday.
The Plasco building, one of Tehran’s oldest high-rises, caught fire on January 19. Interior Minister Abdol-Reza Rahmani-Fazli said last week that an electrical short circuit was the main cause of the incident.
Despite immediate dispatch of firefighting teams to the premises, the fire raged on for three hours before the structure collapsed, caving in on the firefighters and a number of citizens.
Nine consecutive days of relief and rescue operations retrieved the bodies of 15 firefighters and four civilians. One other firefighter succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
On Sunday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued a message, eulogizing the firefighters.