Mexico City arrests 1 builder for faulty building collapse

October 26, 2017

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico City prosecutors said Thursday they have made one of the first arrests related to buildings that collapsed in the magnitude 7.1 earthquake of Sept. 19 that killed 369 people, 228 of them in the capital.

Most of the buildings that fell were built decades ago under looser building codes. But one apartment building was only about a year old when it partly collapsed, killing two women.

One of the builders of that structure has been arrested on charges equivalent to criminal negligence and crimes against the environment. The city said the man, 58, was also listed as the owner of the building.

Mexico City’s chief prosecutor Edmundo Garrido said Thursday an investigation revealed that the building’s foundations were inadequate to support the structure.

Garrido said the blueprints did not match structural calculations submitted as part of the permitting process.

The city said other warrants had also been issued in the case, but did not say for whom or on what charges.

Experts say structures constructed in compliance with current building codes should have been able to withstand quakes like the one that occurred on Sept. 19. But residents of the seven-story apartment complex known as Residencial San Jose accused the builders of cutting corners.

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