New Plasco building

New Plasco building

Conceptual design reminds homelands and firefighters who died in the building’s fire.

We will never forget you.

The Plasco Building (Persianساختمان پلاسکو‎, translit. Sakhteman-e Pelasko) was a 17-story high-rise landmark building in Tehran, the capital city of Iran. At the time of its construction in the 1960s it was the tallest building in Iran,[1] and was considered an iconic part of the Tehran skyline.[2] The building collapsed on 19 January 2017 during a skyscraper fire.[3]


The Plasco building was built in 1962 by the prominent businessman Habib Elghanian, during a decade of rapid growth in Iran. The building was named after his plastics company.[2] At the time of its construction it was the tallest building in Iran,[1] and was considered an iconic landmark of the Tehran skyline, representing the drive for modernization under the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.[4][2]

After the 1979 Iranian revolution, Habib Elghanian was executed by the new government, which seized the building and handed ownership of it to the state-controlled Islamic Revolution Mostazafan Foundation, tied to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The Mostazafan Foundation operated the building until its collapse.[5]

At the time of the fire, the Plasco building was used as a residential and commercial building, with a major shopping center on its ground floor, a restaurant on its upper floor, and several clothing workshops.[6]

Fire and collapse

2017 Plasco Building collapse
Plasco collapsed Tasnim.jpg

Ruins of the building after the collapse
Date 19 January 2017
Time 11:20 local time (07:50 GMT)
Location Tehran, Iran
Deaths 20 (Official statistics; As of 26 January 2017, 22:33 local time)[7]
Non-fatal injuries 230 (Tehran Emergncy Medical Service official statistics; As of 26 January 2017, 21:34 local time)[8]
Missing 1 (Iran Police official estimate; announced 24 February 2017, 11:13 local time)[9]

On 19 January 2017, a fire started on the ninth floor at around 07:50 local time (04:20 GMT).[10] The building was occupied at the time by its residents, workers at the garment shops, and various tour groups that were being shown around the building.[2] Ten fire brigades arrived to fight the blaze. The combined brigades had been trying to stop the fire for hours—while assuring that the building had been evacuated—when the building’s north wall collapsed without warning, leading to the collapse of the rest of the building a few moments later.[3] The collapse was captured on camera by Iran’s state-run Press TV, which was filming the firefighting efforts.[3]

Several firefighters were in the building when the north wall fell, some of whom safely escaped before the building completely collapsed. A number had been fighting the fire from elevated aerial platforms that toppled over during the collapse of the building. Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the mayor of Tehran, said he believed that no other civilians were within the building when it collapsed, but eyewitnesses reported seeing residents crossing police lines to try to enter the building and recover their possessions.[3]

Twenty firefighters have been reported to be killed.[11] At least 70 others were injured by the collapse, with 23 taken to local hospitals having suffered severe injuries. The building primarily collapsed vertically, causing minimal damage to neighboring buildings.[12]