Sunday , April 2 2023

The demolished buildings in Marseille: municipal services have been wounded


Marseille (AFP) – A week after a collapse of two buildings in Marseille that killed eight people, a judicial investigation into identifying possible responsibilities has entered the cavity, with Tuesday's hearings in municipal assembly services.

Investigators of the Marseille Judicial Police also searched the Marseille Habitat headquarters, depending on the city hall, for public prosecutor Xavier Tarabeuk, who confirmed the information from the location of the local Marsact research.

These searches take place within the framework of an investigation launched by the Marseille Prosecutor's Office and entrusted to the PJ to determine the exact causes of the tragedy that took place on November 5 and establish any liability. Dozens of investigators have been mobilized and have already conducted "a lot of hearings," one police report told AFP.

Research, which does not specify custody, will be "extended for many weeks". In addition to technical expertise and documents confiscated, investigators continue to be interested in building ruins in search of "anything useful to investigate," the source said.

The mayor, who, immediately after the tragedy, called for heavy rains as the first explanation, could be included in several ways in the file. Various expertise and court proceedings have been initiated and testified about the fragility of failed buildings, more than one century old.

Legally, the municipality is in charge of "danger" issues when the state of the building, even privately, endangers the lives of its inhabitants. She was also the owner of one of the two buildings that collapsed, through her social housing tenant Marseille Habitat.

– "Mash of Fury" –

This building, one of the most humble in rue D'Aubagne – a sloping road in which buildings are built by each other – has been bought by a public tenant after ten years of proceedings. Marseille Habitat emptied and built it, but the building is gradually falling into a bad state. This could have led to collapse of a neighboring private condominium, says the commissioner of the other, who did some work.

The settled building, however, also had a number of weaknesses that appealed to residents describing abandoned walls and doors that are no longer closed, which also show procedures involving condominium. The tenants complained several times to the Commissioner in which documents and computers were taken away shortly after the tragedy.

The city assembly was, at least to a certain extent, aware of the state of the building, because in the name of public security, the municipal services urgently intervened two weeks before the collapse. Residents were evacuated, but after experts' advice, they could return to their apartments: five of them died, as well as three acquaintances.

Although a judicial inquiry, still under the authority of the public prosecutor, is still in its infancy, Mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin, who was 23 years in charge of the city, continued to criticize, and about 500 people were evacuated from facilities on the banks of the river from the tragedy and are not sure that they are able to reintegrate them.

He first admitted on Sunday that the second city of France "did not do enough" to fight against unsuitable apartments, the day after the march of thousands of Marseilles who called for his resignation, under a balcony in a town house.

Another protest called "Walking the Wrath" is scheduled for Wednesday, in a city where damaged or unhealthy homes are compromised by the safety of nearly one in eight, according to a government report of 40,000 unavailable housing.


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