Iran launches probe into col­lapsed homes

Yorkshire Post - - ABROAD & UK -

PRES­I­DENT Has­san Rouhani has launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into why gov­ern­ment hous­ing built by his pre­de­ces­sor col­lapsed while oth­ers with­stood an earth­quake near the bor­der with Iraq that killed hun­dreds of peo­ple.

In the Kur­dish town of Sar­pol-e-Za­hab, which was re­con­structed in the decades since the 1980s war with Iraq, the outer walls of build­ing com­plexes tum­bled away in the mag­ni­tude 7.3 earth­quake on Sun­day night. The hous­ing was built as part of the Mehr – “kind­ness” – project of for­mer pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad.

Some now-home­less sur­vivors sim­ply wept out­side while oth­ers an­grily showed As­so­ci­ated Press jour­nal­ists the de­struc­tion done by the quake.

“Other build­ings near our apart­ment are not dam­aged as much be­cause they were built pri­vately,” said Fer­dows Shah­bazi, 42, who lived in one of the Mehr build­ings.

Res­cuers used heavy equip­ment to dig through top­pled build­ings in Sar­pol-eIRANIAN Za­hab. The apart­ment com­plexes sit next to lush pas­tures in the al­most en­tirely Kur­dish prov­ince of Ker­man­shah, along the bor­der with Iraq.

The quake badly dam­aged the town’s hos­pi­tal, forc­ing the army to set up field clin­ics. The quake also re­port­edly killed an un­spec­i­fied num­ber of sol­diers in an army gar­ri­son.

Aside from the 530 peo­ple killed in Iran, 7,817 were in­jured.

Health min­is­ter Has­san Ghaz­izadeh Hashemi, who vis­ited Ker­man­shah on Tues­day, warned the death toll prob­a­bly would rise.

Mr Rouhani in­spected the dam­age in the prov­ince and of­fered his sup­port.

“This was a pain for all Ira­ni­ans,” he said. “Rep­re­sent­ing the na­tion of Iran, I of­fer my con­do­lences to the peo­ple of Ker­man­shah and tell them that all of us are be­hind Ker­man­shah.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.