TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Families evacuated from a residential building in Tripoli Friday claimed authorities failed to stop their neighbor from building two illegal additional stories, which caused cracks in the foundation and now threatens to collapse the structure.
Khaled Abdelrahman, one of the now-homeless residents of the nine-story Al-Manar building near Khadija Mosque in the Abu Samra neighborhood, rushed out to the street early Friday after he felt the building shake.
Municipal engineers examined the structure and deemed it unsafe, recommending it be demolished, a security sources told The Daily Star. The source also confirmed that the cracks that appeared in the building’s foundation were a result of the two-additional floors.
Abdelrahman said he pleaded with the municipality to put a stop to the construction, noting that the tenants had asked Hilal al-Mir, who lives on the seventh floor, not to build extra floors because the building’s foundations were not sturdy enough to support the additional weight.
“He didn’t listen to us and built two additional stories, ignoring orders by the municipal police and the security forces to stop these illegal actions because he is protected by his cousin who works as a bodyguard for caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati,” Abdelrahman alleged.
“He promised he would strengthen the foundation of the building, but he didn’t keep his promise,” he added.
Tripoli Mayor Nader Ghazal visited the building and said three warnings had been issued to remove the additional floors, as well as one warning to residents to evacuate the building.
He added that the Higher Relief Commission would provide tenants with housing benefits until they were able to return to their homes.