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Charges could follow Islamabad tower collapse

THE COLLAPSE of an 11 storey residential tower block in Islamabad, Pakistan, following last weekend's earthquake could trigger criminal charges against developers and contractors, officials said this week.

The reinforced concrete Margella Towers building in Islamabad was completely destroyed by the quake while neighbouring buildings of similar construction remained upright.

Buildings in Pakistan are designed according to United States building codes.

'There is a requirement for buildings in Pakistan to be seismically resistant. In general they are designed according to the US uniform building code, ' said ICE Pakistan representative Sarfraz Ahmed, an engineer with Lahore based Progressive Consultants.

Engineers in Pakistan expressed concern that some building developers pay only lip service to the building codes.

In reality they often build structures that are not as robust as the plans they submit to the Capital Development Authority, which is in charge of all development in the city.

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