Not so high-rise

The collapse of sixteen storey building yesterday here in Baku has apparently been mentioned on some international news services.  Mercifully it was an unfinished building with no inhabitants and the construction workers were finishing a shift at the time so casualties while as yet unconfirmed are few.  While I used to live in a building barely one hundred metres away from this one I can assure friends and family who may have heard about the event that I am safe and well.

Reaction is strong amongst those of us who have discussed the event thus far (it is early in the working day at time of writing).  Not just in conversation but in the press there have been numerous comments criticising lapses in standards during Baku’s recent building boom.  This major bust is seen by many as inevitable but whether or not it will precipitate any significant change for the better is debatable.

A new law limiting all new buildings to twelve storeys has been mentioned but how strictly it will be adhered to is anyone’s guess.  Within the large number of new construction projects rush-started in an attempt to beat the introduction date of this law, it is possible that there are several particularly risky buildings that have suffered further from the excessive haste.  This may well have been one of them.  If there is any further significant news on the subject I will let you know.

See http://day.az/news/society/90279.html for pictures on a local news site (and text in Russian).

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