Landslide scandal buildings come down

21st March 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 March 2005, BARCELONA-Three blocks of flats were being demolished in the area of Barcelona which suffered a landslide after botched work on the city´s metro system.

21 March 2005

BARCELONA-Three blocks of flats were being demolished in the area of Barcelona which suffered a landslide after botched work on the city´s metro system.

Engineers said the blocks in Carmel were in a much worse state than had first been thought.

Carles Buixadé, head of the company leading the demolition work, said the three buildings must first be propped up to guarantee the safety of the workers carrying out the demolition work in the surrounding area, before the structures themselves can come down.

Carmel was hit by a landslide after work to extend the city´s metro went badly wrong in January.

The landslide, which left a 20-metre-wide hole, left 1,000 people homeless and has caused a major political scandal.

Catalan regional prime minister Pasquall Maragall accused the former right-of-centre CiU administration of corruption but later was forced to retract his accusation.

The Catalan government has created a commission of investigation into the Carmel affair but already two senior public figures at the centre of the affair have already resigned.

Jordi Julia, minister of transport in the Catalan regional government, and Ramon Serra, president of GISA, the public company involved in the works, both tendered their resignations, which were accepted by authorities.

Judge Elisabet Castelló opened the investigation into the state-run agency GISA, which is behind the metro extension, the private construction companies FCC, Comsa and Copisa Constructora Pirenaica, who worked on the project, and another management company TEC-4, as well as the firm involved in the geological survey of the land, Geocontrol.

The regional Catalan government or Generalitat is also implicated in the fiasco.

The companies have been asked to pay a surety of EUR 100 million into court.

But the cost of rebuilding scores of homes and the area is expected to be twice this amount.

Spanish premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero pledged cash to help the scores of families left homeless.

The government will pay each family which had lost their home an initial EUR 10,000 to cover costs while their properties were being rebuilt.

Each family will also get an extra EUR 1,500 to replace household objects.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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