TEHRAN, Jan. 23 (Press Shia Agency) – 5 days after collapse of Plasco building in Tehran’s busy trade area, the first press conference has provided reliable data to the press.

Speaking in the press conference were Masoud Ghadi Pasha, Head and Director of the Tehran Provincial Office of Legal Medicine Organization, Head of Criminal Affairs at the Tehran prosecutor’s office, Mohammad Shahriari, and Plasco Disaster Headquarters Jalal Maleki.

Ghadi Pasha told the press that a total of 6 bodies had so far been delivered to Tehran’s office of Legal Medicine; “4 of the recovered bodies belong to civilians, whose families were called for DNA tests to find the identity of the bodies,” he added. “The intense heat of the site had been the reason why the rescuers expressed that the bodies had been still warm, which intervened by the apparent general rule that corpse would be cold hours after death; the civilians could probably have been still alive within first few hours after the collapse; all this is speculation and we should wait till the full report of the Legal Medicine experts,” he detailed.

Judge Mohammad Shahriari also was speaking in the press conference; “the priority in rescue operations had been to save those who are thought to be alive; finding dead bodies would be a second priority; the left properties and assets would also be addressed after recovering bodies and we recommend the owners of the businesses working in the Palsco building to exercise patience,” he said.

“Corpses had undergone corruption and this indicates their having died immediately after the collapse in the first day; we expect that some criminals entering into activity in the site using the cover of crowd and accordingly, police was present in the site to prevent their acts of felony and stealing property,” Shahriari told the press.

Still speaking in the press conference, Jalal Maleki said that the rubble-clearing activity had reached ground floor of the building and it would find way to underground floors in the upcoming days; “the site should be cleared very soon, since we are in a race against time with unknown number of the corpses still uncovered; in the early hours of the fire, evacuation and extinguishing fire had been parallel; however, at 8:00 AM when the building was burning, it is estimated that around 300 or 400 people were still frequenting the building with the premise that the fire would be easily put out soon, and did not predicted such collapse,” he said.

SH/PS