July 28, 2021

One condemned by the collapse of the Cologne Archive, with 2 dead

One condemned by the collapse of the Cologne Archive, with 2 dead

A German court today sentenced eight months of probation for reckless homicide to one of the four accused by the collapse of the Cologne Municipal Archives (west) in March 2009, which left two dead, and acquitted the other three defendants, report local media.

The Provincial Court of Cologne believes that the collapse could have been avoided if the only convicted person, Manfred A., supervisor of the transport companies of Cologne (KVB), had fulfilled his obligations of supervision according to the architecture and construction standards, said Michael Greve , the judge presiding over the room, quoted by the newspaper "Kölner Express".

The ruling attributed the collapse of the file, caused by the construction of a subway line, to a serious error in the construction of the wall screen for the change of roads in the Waidmarkt area, said the court, which ruled out any other cause. for the collapse.

The deficiency in the wall screen goes back to September of 2005, when the person in charge of the section of work, Rolf K. and the operator of excavator Konrad B. created by negligence a hollow in the same one, by which four years later he slipped water and earth that finally led to the collapse of the archive.

Since the crime prescribes to the ten years of the catastrophe, that is to say, the next March 3, it is probable that neither of them has to sit on the bench.

In the sinking, two men died, tenants of an adjacent building that also collapsed, and there were no more deaths due to the quick evacuation of the building.

The archive was considered the "living memory" of the city, because they kept their 65,000 documents and certificates from the year 922, about 1,800 biblical and other manuscripts, 10,000 testaments and all municipal protocols since 1320, as well as 104,000 maps and plans , 50,000 posters and about half a million photographs.

In addition, some 800 collections and legacies were deposited, including musical compositions by Jacques Offenbach, writings of the 1972 Nobel Prize for Literature, Heinrich Böll, and the 400-year-old City Constitution.

Some of these documents could be recovered from the rubble, such as the diploma of the Nobel Prize of Böll and much of the work of that writer, born in Cologne in 1917.


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