A powerful explosion in the Iranian capital has killed 19 people

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency said at least 19 people were killed in Tuesday's powerful explosion at a clinic in northern Tehran.

State television said the explosion at the Sina Ather Health Center damaged the surrounding buildings and caused thick black smoke in the night sky.

Emergency Medical Services in Tehran said in a statement, "The explosion occurred at the Sina Other Clinic at 20:56 (1626 GMT). The medical units were dispatched immediately."

It confirmed 13 deaths. Six others were also injured and rushed to the hospital.

Tehran fire department spokesman Jalal Malecki told the agency that firefighters recovered six people who died in the blast almost two hours later, and that their number has risen to 19.

Fifteen of the dead were women, state television said.

Malecki said in a TV interview that the gas cans exploded in the basement of the clinic.

Some of the victims were "on the upper floors of the operating room, either on patients or undergoing the operation."

"Unfortunately they lose their lives because of the heat and thick smoke."

The incident occurred four days after an explosion near a military complex in the Iranian capital.

Iran's defense ministry said Friday that it was caused by a gas leak in the Parchin area southeast of Tehran, which claimed no casualties.

The site is suspected to have hosted conventional explosive tests that apply to the nuclear republic of the Islamic Republic.

It came under scrutiny in 2015 from the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran refused IAEA access to the site because of the nature of its work, but the then agency head, the late Yukia Amano, visited there.

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