Solar panels hang above the wreckage. Solar panels hang above the wreckage.

Neighbors worry that solar panels will fall

20-tonne structure hangs above severely damaged building

Two weeks after an earthquake rocked central Mexico, fears of further damage are still alive in Mexico City.

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The neighbors of a building that was severely damaged in the Portales neighborhood of the city’s Benito Juárez borough fear that a structure on top of it is in danger of falling.

Residents of the building at 58 Zapata street accused borough authorities of initially denying there was a problem, claiming it was simply a billboard that had collapsed on the building’s roof.

But further inspection revealed that the structure is a solar panel array and a rainwater collection system weighing 20 tonnes.

Residents told the newspaper Milenio that they live in constant fear of losing everything they own if the solar array and collection system were to finally give in.

“We are asking, requesting, begging [the authorities] for the removal of the solar array, as it represents a risk for our building . . . but no one pays attention to us,” said another resident.

He said the structure also poses a risk for motorists and pedestrians.

The collapsed apartment building, located at 56 Zapata street, was completed last June.

It was built by Canada Building Systems de México, currently under investigation for irregularities in the planning and execution of the project. Borough officials said after conducting an assessment of the building that substandard materials had been used in its construction and building regulations had been violated.

Neighbors have also leveled charges of corruption against local officials for allowing the alleged irregularities.

Two people died inside the building when it collapsed in the September 19 earthquake.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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