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Monster sandstorm swallows Iran's capital Tehran, 4 killed (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Published time: June 02, 2014 20:13
Edited time: June 02, 2014 23:55
A sandstorm engulfs the Iranian capital Tehran on June 02, 2014. (AFP Photo / Fars News / Mostafa Vosogh)

A sandstorm engulfs the Iranian capital Tehran on June 02, 2014. (AFP Photo / Fars News / Mostafa Vosogh)

Record winds have created a massive sandstorm which hit Tehran on Monday, plunging the Iranian capital into darkness, damaging buildings, and killing at least four people.

The disaster struck at 5:10 p.m. local time, knocking out power supplies and sending residents to rush for cover. The wind, reported at 110 kilometers per hour, snapped trees and sweeped debris across streets.

The fatalities were caused by fallen trees, ISNA said. At least 27 others were injured, 10 of them in a road accident when the gloom suddenly descended, according to Amin Sabernia, Iran's chief emergency official.

"It was a horrifying storm and suddenly everywhere went dark," a shopkeeper in Tehran told AP news agency. "I closed my store's shutters to prevent damage. [A] big tree broke and knocked in the windows, shattering them."

The total number of deaths is unclear. Iranian state television said five were killed, while state-run Irna news agency said four died.

Residents were urged to stay indoors.


Iranians walk amidst dust as a sandstorm engulfs the capital Tehran on June 02, 2014. (AFP Photo / ISNA / Hamidreza Dastjerdi)

A sandstorm engulfs Tehran on June 02, 2014. (AFP Photo / Farhad Kabar Kohian)

The trunk of a tree lies over a smashed vehicle following a sandstorm and record winds in Tehran on June 02, 2014. (AFP Photo / Str / Fars News)