Turkey, earthquake in İzmir

13 arrested for collapsed buildings during İzmir earthquake

Another 9 people are in search and capture in connection with the collapse of several buildings in the 6.6 earthquake that left 115 dead.

At least 13 people were arrested today in Turkey as part of the investigation related to the collapse of 8 buildings in poor condition that suffered a total collapse during the earthquake that occurred in October last year in the Turkish city of İzmir, and that caused 115 dead and more than a thousand wounded.

Those arrested today would be among the 22 wanted by the Turkish authorities; they are accused of being responsible for part of the deaths and material damage due to negligence committed during the construction of the buildings, in which poor quality materials were used.

Shortly after the earthquake, which reached 6.6 on the Richter scale, a dozen people were already arrested, although 3 of them would later be released under judicial control. Now, these new arrests come after a preliminary report prepared by experts from several universities and research centres identified those who built them or did not want to take measures to correct their deficiencies, as guilty of the collapse of the buildings.

Precisely among the people on whom an arrest warrant weighs would be the owner of a flat who refused to authorise that works to be carried out in the building to reinforce it in the event of a possible earthquake, against the opinion of the rest of the neighbours. The report corroborates that the samples taken from the buildings collapsed during the earthquake show that the main cause of their collapse was the use of poor quality materials, as well as errors in the design of the buildings.

The vast majority of buildings that collapsed during the İzmir earthquake had been built more than two decades ago, before the stricter new building regulations in Turkey came into force in the wake of the Great Marmara Earthquake of 1999. All the fatalities occurred in buildings constructed in the Bayraklı district, an area that was also unsuitable for building because it was before a swampy terrain.