At least 37 people were injured in a powerful explosion that occurred inside a shopping centre in Iran's southern city of Shiraz early on Saturday (3 June). There were no reports of deaths at the time of filing the report. Iranian state media reported that a gas leak may have caused the blast.
According news agency IRNA, the explosion in the ground floor of the shopping mall was loud enough to be heard in most neighbourhoods in the city. The blast, which occurred at 12.45 am (21.15 GMT), also damaged some walls of the supermarket building and triggered a blaze.
Videos posted online of the incident shows the supermarket engulfed in fire following the explosion.
Press TV quoted Mohammad Reza Alimanesh, head of the provincial emergency organisation, as saying that 15 people were hospitalised, but none of them were in critical condition. People have reportedly been evacuated from the blast site and an investigation has been launched to establish the cause of the explosion.
Meanwhile, authorities suspect neglecting safety measures could have led to the accident. "The cause of the blast and fire at the hypermarket was negligence and inattention to safety standards," head of the fire-fighting service at Shiraz Municipality, Mohammad Farrokhzad, told Press TV.
RT News reported that the explosion led to several hours of power outage in the city, which is Iran's sixth most populous place with a population of nearly two million. The blast also damaged many vehicles parked in the shopping centre premises. Other properties around the building also suffered damage.