Turkey, rescue during the İzmir earthquake

12 years for the collapse of buildings during İzmir’s earthquake

It is the 1st sentence for the collapse of buildings in the earthquake, that in 2020 caused 115 deaths in the 3rd largest city of Turkey.

A court in Turkey has sentenced a contractor and an inspector who supervised the construction of one of the buildings that collapsed during the 2020 İzmir earthquake, which caused 115 deaths and more than a thousand injuried, to 12 years and 6 months in prison.

The defendants were facing a sentence after the death of 11 people in the Yağcıoğlu apartment block, where another 7 people were injured after the building collapsed after the earthquake, which reached 6.6 on the Richter scale. The 71-year-old contractor, identified as Ş.A., and the construction inspector O.A., were among those arrested for the collapse of buildings after the earthquake in the third largest city of Turkey, accused of committing negligence in building construction that led to the disaster.

Prosecutors accused both of, among other bad practices, using inadequate and weak materials that did not comply with the legislation on anti-seismic construction, as well as errors in the design of the building and lack of inspections, which according to the indictment, led to the collapse of the building and the deaths. In total, prosecutors had requested more than 22 years in prison for both defendants, although inspector O.A. had been released on bail pending trial due to his advanced age.

During the final hearing of the trial, whose sentence was announced today, Ş.A. pleaded not guilty and argued that the collapse of the building could have been due to a subsequent intervention in it. In his statement, the builder also accused the inspector and the property owner of failing to report alleged illegal modifications made later to the building, which he claimed caused the block to collapse.

However, the court rejected their arguments and decided to sentence both defendants to more than 12 years in prison for “causing the death and injury of multiple people due to conscious negligence“. This is the first sentence released in relation to the collapse of buildings during the earthquake in İzmir.