Italy building collapse toll up to 34
Saturday 13 November 1999
One of the latest bodies retrieved was blackened, caught by a slow-burning fire seeping through the underground garage where many of the victims were believed trapped.
The fire further lessened hope of finding any more survivors. Hundreds of rescuers worked night and day, digging by the bucketful rather than move in heavy machinery where there might be victims.
The six-floor building collapsed on Thursday morning, trapping 70 to 75 people inside. Authorities said 17 residents escaped or were rescued. Foggia, 72 miles northeast of Naples, hasa a population of 150,000.
It was Italy's deadliest building collapse since 1959, when 58 people died in a collapse in the southern city of Barletta.
A number of theories were offered for the cause of the collapse, none conclusively: construction that used substandard steel bars or concrete; a sudden settling of the sandy soil; renovation work on the underground garage; water eroding the foundation.
Foggia officials defended the construction. Newspapers pointed out the builder himself had lived in the rooftop apartment, although it was not clear if he still lived in the building at the time of the disaster.
Italy's national statistics institute said 3.5 million houses nationally were at risk of similar collapse. Age had weakened some, but cut-rate building during the south's construction boom meant some structures were weak to begin with. "There's no monitoring," said Giuseppe Roma, director of the statistics bureau. "The territory is out of control."
In Rome, lawmakers urged the passage of legislation that would lead to statutory periodic inspections of buildings. Too much time had been lost since the collapse of a Rome apartment block 11 months ago in which 27 people died, they argued.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...