Buenos Aires building near collapse, residents evacuated
Nov 5, 2011, 14:34 GMT
Berlin/Buenos Aires - Construction work could have been responsible for destabilizing a Buenos Aires building, which officials Saturday warned could collapse, as residents were evacuated and water, gas and electrical lines were turned off.
The facade of the 30-apartment, 10-storey building fell onto a busy central Buenos Aires street, and officials said that the building next to it could also collapse.
City official Nestor Nicolas told the La Nacion newspaper that the entire block was evacuated Friday. The facade unfixed Friday evening, 30 minutes after a resident noticed the building shaking and contacted officials, who ordered the evacuation.
While some residents stayed in hotels or with relatives, about 100 people reportedly slept on streets until early Saturday, when city officials transported them to a Boca district community centre, La Nacion reported.
Water, gas, and electrical lines were turned off in streets surrounding the building. A subway line was diverted to prevent tremors in the affected zone, the Clarin newspaper reported.
C5N television on Saturday showed images of giant cracks running from the top of the building to its middle.
Municipal architect Susana Freyre told local media that construction on the building's side might be responsible for destabilizing the structure.