A fire at a shopping center in southern Fars province early Saturday injured 37 people, according to Iranian state TV. The fire in Shiraz city was preceded by an explosion, IRIB reported.
Reza Alimanesh, head of the provincial emergency organization, said 15 of the injured were hospitalized, according to IRIB. The semi-official Tasnim news agency said the cause of incident is under investigation.
“The cause of the blast and fire at the hypermarket was negligence and inattention to safety standards,” Shiraz Fire Department chief Mohammad Farrokhzad told State-run Press TV. He didn’t elaborate.
During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when observers fast from dawn till dusk, it is not unusual for shopping centers to be busy with customers late into the evening. In January, 26 people including 16 firefighters were killed when a building collapsed following a fire in downtown Tehran. Officials blamed it on an electric short circuit.