Iran to probe state-built homes de­stroyed in quake

The Mercury News - - News -

SARPOL-E-ZAHAB, IRAN >> Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion Tues­day into why gov­ern­ment hous­ing built by his hard-line pre­de­ces­sor col­lapsed while oth­ers with­stood an earth­quake near the bor­der with Iraq that killed more than 530 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 apart­ment com­plexes tum­bled away in the mag­ni­tude 7.3 earth­quake Sun­day night. The hous­ing was built as a part of the “Mehr” or “kind­ness” project of for­mer Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad.

Res­cuers used back­hoes and other heavy equip­ment to dig through top­pled build­ings in Sarpol-e-Zahab, home to more than half of the dead. Aside from the 530 peo­ple killed in Iran, 7,817 were in­jured, the staterun IRNA news agency re­ported.

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