Relatives and friends of photojournalist Edgar Esqueda attend his wake in San Luis Potosi, Mexico on October 7, 2017. (AFP / YURI CORTEZ)
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Nearly two-thirds of the 44 buildings that fell in Mexico City were designed with a construction method called flat slab -- in which floors are supported only by concrete columns -- now forbidden in parts of the United States, Chile and New Zealand according to data compiled by a team of structural engineers at Stanford University and obtained by The Associated Press.In an earthquake, without reinforced concrete walls or lateral bracing to resist forces pushing structures sideways, buildings with that design can move too much.The borough official who heads the department that signed off on the plans the engineer submitted, including the waffle slab construction, reportedly had been suspended for illicit enrichment after an investigation by Mexico City's controller found he failed to report a line of credit on a home and two cars on his income statement.The new codes allowed flat slab construction if developers designed the building to be seismically stronger than structures with beams or concrete walls.
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