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Tehran clinic hit by deadly explosion

Nineteen people reported killed and six injured in blast caused by a gas leak at the Sina Athar clinic in Iran's capital
The clinic, which had 25 employees inside at the time of the blast, primarily carries out light surgeries and medical imaging (AFP)

Nineteen people were killed and six injured on Tuesday in an explosion at a medical clinic in the north of Tehran, the official IRIB news agency reported, quoting state officials.

A gas leak caused the blast at the Sina Athar clinic, Tehran Deputy Governor Hamid Reza Goudarzi told state television.

A video posted on social media appeared to show multiple explosions at the site and another showed firefighters using a ladder to reach the roof of the building.

Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the videos.

Most of the victims of the blast were women, according to officials.

First responders carry away an injured person on a stretcher at the scene of an explosion (AFP)
First responders carry away an injured person on a stretcher at the scene of an explosion (AFP)

A fire touched off by the blast has been extinguished, Jalal Maleki, the Tehran Fire Department spokesman said on state TV.

Some of the victims "were in upper floors, in operation rooms - who were either patients being operated on or those with them", Maleki was quoted as saying by state media.

"They unfortunately lost their lives due to the heat and thick smoke," he said, adding that firefighters had rescued 20 people.

The clinic, which had 25 employees inside at the time of the blast, primarily carries out light surgeries and medical imaging.

Last week, an explosion occurred close to a sensitive military site near Tehran which the defence ministry said was caused by a leaking tank at a gas storage facility. 

No deaths or injuries were reported.