Architect convicted of manslaughter in L'Aquila trial

85-year-old designed buildings dating to 1965

Architect convicted of manslaughter in L'Aquila trial

(ANSA) – L'Aquila, October 30 – An elderly architect was found guilty of manslaughter and culpable disaster and sentenced to three years in jail on Tuesday for the collapse of two buildings in the April 6, 2009 L'Aquila earthquake that claimed 309 lives. Augusto Angelini, 85, designed and oversaw construction of the buildings located at numbers 33 and 39 of Via Luigi Sturzo in the historic centre, in which 29 people died. Both structures dated to 1965 and were built from reinforced concrete. Investigators claimed the buildings collapsed due to the poor quality of the concrete used, inadequate construction methods and design faults and errors in the structural calculations. Angelini, who was not present for the sentence due to health reasons, is the only surviving member of a group of five people believed by the prosecution to be responsible for the collapse. Last week the L'Aquila prosecutor's office secured a manslaughter conviction for six top-level scientists and a public official for allegedly failing to pass on correct information about the threat facing L'Aquila and the surrounding area just a few days before the earthquake struck. The verdict and six-year jail sentences sparked dismay and outrage among the Italian and international scientific communities, which insisted that earthquakes cannot be accurately predicted. The defendants will appeal against the sentence once the full reasoning has been made known. Earlier this month the L'Aquila court also sentenced local engineer Diego De Angelis to three years in prison over the collapse of a building in Via Generale Rossi as a result of the quake. His daughter Jenny was one of the 17 people who died when that building collapsed.

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