Just over a week after the deadly earthquake which shook the centre of Italy, people are still trying to understand why so many buildings collapsed claiming so many lives.
In total, 294 people were killed. Rebuilding costs are estimated at around 12-billion euros, and one out of three houses in the central province of L’Aquila is now too dangerous to live in. Some 20 people were killed when a student hostel – renovated just over 10 years ago – came down in the centre of L’Aquila, the province’s capital. People are angry and want to know who is to blame for what they see as poor construction work. One student said: “It’s just not possible that parents should make sacrifices to send their children far away to study – they put their trust in the state, this hostel belonged to the state, it’s a public building – and it was one of the first to collapse. We want answers.” A hospital in the town centre, which was only opened in 2000, is all but a pile of rubble. It was built by Italy’s biggest construction company, Impregilo, which has repeatedly been involved in construction scandals, including last year’s Naples rubbish debacle.