Court sentences four defendants for building collapsed in Feb. 6 quakes

A Turkish court has sentenced four defendants employed in the construction of the Galeria complex to 17 years and six months in jail. The building was one of the few that collapsed during the Feb. 6 earthquakes in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, killing 89 people. 

Duvar English

A Turkish court has sentenced four defendants to 17 years and six months in prison in connection with the Galeria Complex in the southeastern Diyarbakır province, which collapsed and killed 89 people during the Feb. 6 earthquakes. 

Three contractors and one construction engineer who took part in the construction of the complex were sentenced for “causing multiple deaths due to gross negligence.” 

The indictment included an expert report that found that the permits for the building were approved before the necessary architectural, static, and plumbing projects were finalized. 

Furthermore, the report showed that construction for the building continued illegally after being sealed off.

The defendants who were being tried under custody pleaded innocent and demanded their acquittal and release. 

The remaining three defendants in the case are fugitives. 

The court unanimously ruled that the defendants were responsible for the construction errors that led to the building’s collapse and did not fulfill their duties in various stages of construction. 

The Galeria Complex was one of the few building blocks to collapse in Diyarbakır during the Feb. 6 earthquakes. The province was one of the lesser affected areas during the quakes, with 411 casualties and six collapsed buildings. 

The death toll from the Feb. 6 earthquakes stands at 53,500 according to most recent official figures. The 7.7 and 7.6-magnitude earthquakes affected 11 provinces across a 120,000-kilometer square area in southeastern Turkey.