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A gas leak Tuesday at a medical clinic in Tehran caused an explosion that killed at least 19 people, according to Iranian state media.
Authorities initially said 13 people were dead. Jalal Maleki, a spokesman for the Tehran Fire Department, later told state TV that the toll had risen to 19.
The state-run IRNA news agency quoted Maleki as saying the dead included 15 women and four men.
Maleki said firefighters had also rescued 20 people.
First responders gather at the scene of an explosion at the Sina At'har health centre in the north of Iran's capital Tehran northern Tehran on June 30, 2020. (AFP via Getty Images)
Fars News agency reported that at least six people had been injured.
Video posted online appeared to show more than one explosion and thick black smoke rising from the flames. Other video showed firefighters using a ladder to access the roof.
Hamidreza Goudarzi, Tehran's deputy governor, told state TV that a leak from medical gas tanks in the building was the cause of the explosion and fire.
People in nearby Tajrish Bazaar rushed to the scene, impeding a rescue operation, authorities said. Videos on social media showed people gathered outside of the building.
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State TV said there could be more explosions because there were a number of oxygen tanks remaining in the medical center.
Witness Marjan Haghighi told The Associated Press that police blocked roads to the neighborhood.
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Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi told state TV the clinic had 25 employees at the time of the blast and primarily carries out light surgeries, Reuters reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.
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Soldier, a suspect in disappearance of Pvt. Vanessa Guillen, kills self when confronted by police
(CNN)A soldier suspected in the disappearance of Fort Hood Pfc. Vanessa Guillen killed himself after police confronted him in Killeen, Texas, authorities said Wednesday.
Texas Rangers arrested another civilian suspect
in connection with Guillen's disappearance, according to US Army Criminal Investigation Command, which calls itself CID. The suspect, who has not been identified, is the estranged wife of a former soldier from Fort Hood. She is in Bell County Jail awaiting civilian authorities to press charges, CID said.
"We have made significant progress in this tragic situation and are doing everything possible to get to the truth and bring answers to the family
of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen," CID spokesman Chris Grey said. Guillen, 20, was last seen in the parking lot of her barracks at the Texas Army base April 22, CID said. Read MoreFort Hood officials told Guillen's family they suspect foul play, US Rep. Sylvia Garcia said at a news conference last week. Suspect confrontedEarly Wednesday, US Marshals, Killeen police and the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force located the unidentified soldier suspected in Guillen's disappearance, CID said. He had left his Fort Hood post. The authorities confronted him walking along a commercial and residential thoroughfare on the northeast side of the city, a few miles from base. "As officers attempted to make contact with the suspect, the suspect displayed a weapon and discharged it toward himself. The suspect succumbed from a self-inflicted gunshot wound," the Killeen Police Department said in a news release. This came just hours after investigators discovered Tuesday the partial remains of a body near the Leon River in rural Bell County, where Killeen is located. While authorities have not confirmed it, Guillen's family believes the remains belong to their missing loved one, they said at a news conference.The remains were found in a shallow grave, and search operations were suspended, pending identification, said Tim Miller, the director and founder of Texas EquuSearch.Another soldier found deadAuthorities discovered the remains about 26 miles from the site where on June 19 investigators found the body of Pvt. 2nd Class Gregory Wedel-Morales, who went missing last year while driving in Killeen.He was scheduled to be discharged within days of his disappearance, the Army said. It's unclear whether there's a connection between Guillen and Wedel-Morales, but Army investigators say there is "no credible information" linking the cases.
Vanessa Guillen told her family she was being sexually harassed. Foul play is also suspected in Wedel-Morales' death, and the Army is offering a $25,000 reward for information. The Army, League of United Latin American Citizens and Houston rapper Baby Bash have pooled together a $55,000 reward for information on Guillen's disappearance. Before Guillen went missing, she told her family that she was being sexually harassed by one of her sergeants at Fort Hood, according to a website her family set up to promote the search. The sergeant wasn't identified.
After she went missing in April, her car keys, room key, identification card and wallet were found in an armory room where she was working that day."Our hearts are broken. We feel pain, frustration and devastation. This shouldn't have happened. We demand a congressional investigation. We demand the truth," attorney Natalie Khawam said in a statement. "If this could happen to Vanessa, this can happen to any one of our sisters, daughters and mothers. There's no reason why a young beautiful girl who joined the Army, to honorably serve our country, should be in a shallow grave near on our own turf."