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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Mexico City plans quake memorial at collapsed building site

In this Monday, Sept. 25, 2017  photo, flower wreaths, clothing, sewing supplies and a mannequin make up a memorial honoring those who died at 168 Bolivar Street when the five-story office and factory building was felled by an earthquake, in Mexico City. (Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press)
In this Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 photo, flower wreaths, clothing, sewing supplies and a mannequin make up a memorial honoring those who died at 168 Bolivar Street when the five-story office and factory building was felled by an earthquake, in Mexico City. (Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press)
Associated Press

MEXICO CITY – Mexico City’s government said Sunday it plans to expropriate the lot where a seven-story office building collapsed during the Sept. 19 earthquake, and will use it to erect a memorial to quake victims.

Forty-nine bodies were pulled from the rubble of the building near the city’s center. That was the largest single death toll among the 38 buildings felled by the quake. There were 228 deaths in the city, and 369 people died in the region.

The city’s legal counsel said the victims’ families would have a voice on what the memorial looks like.

Mexico City has decided to demolish at least 58 more buildings badly damaged by the quake, but the work is technically and legally complicated and is going slowly. Demolition has started at only about five sites.

Authorities are still studying about 55 other damaged buildings to decide whether the can be reinforced or will need to be demolished.

Hundreds of apartment dwellers are in limbo because detailed studies about whether their buildings are safe haven’t been completed. Some are demanding the city government rebuild their homes or pay them for them, but officials say that isn’t possible. Instead the government is offering preferential loans.

Proposals have also been floated to loosen height restrictions and allow builders to cram more apartments onto the same lots. Revenue to pay for reconstructing previously existing units would come from selling the additional apartments created.

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