Thursday 21st of February 2019 |
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4 dead, 10 injured after building collapses in Zarqa


By Maram Al Kayed, The Jordan Times


AMMAN — "Unauthorised" reconstruction work on the ground floor of a residential building in Zarqa has caused the building to collapse on its residents, killing four people and injuring ten others.
The building, located in the Hawooz neighbourhood in Zarqa, collapsed at 6:00am on Wednesday, a source at the Civil Defence Department (CDD) told The Jordan Times.
Of the total injured persons, three are in critical condition, the source said.
A CDD unnamed source was quoted by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, as saying later on Wednesday that the search was still ongoing for a young man trapped under the rubble.  
The CDD also said that rescuing the trapped individuals took longer than usual because rescuers were unable to use heavy machinery, fearing that it might lead to further structure collapse.
"The most likely reason for the collapse of the building was the in-progress reconstruction work on the ground floor," the source said.
According to the CDD, the owner of the building filed a request for reconstruction which was denied by the municipality, due to the building’s inability to handle the reconstruction for architectural reasons.
The structure dates back to 1970, and it could not handle the removal of the ground-floor walls that were being taken out during the reconstruction, according to the CDD source.
The building’s owner is at risk of being charged by the municipality and the building’s residents with reconstruction without a warrant, as well as with the deaths and injuries that resulted from the collapse, according to officer Hamad Dweiri of the Zarqa police department. 
The story has evoked public opinion, and Prime Minister Omar Razzaz visited the site on Wednesday.
Razzaz expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
The prime minister also directed concerned agencies to investigate the incident, saying his government is committed to providing residence for the inhabitants of the building.
People on social media expressed their grief for those who died, as well as their anger at such “selfish” behaviour by building owners.
Razan, a Jordanian citizen, tweeted: “Guns kill one person, but wrong ideas kill a whole nation. Their death is to blame on the construction chief.”
Rawan Jamal tweeted, “Dilapidated buildings. Incompetent architects. This is the least that could happen.”
Jordanian Engineer Association Chief Ahmad Zoubi said on Twitter that the syndicate sent a technical committee to the site and will issue its report on the incident. 

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