Some of Baku’s faux exteriors, often jerry-built to glamorize drab, Soviet-era buildings, are being pulled down after a deadly fire in the Azerbaijani capital on May 19 took an estimated 15 lives and wounded dozens. Officials have blamed the blaze, which consumed a 16-storey apartment-building, on inflammable, low-quality material used to fit old structures with handsome, new facades.
Local news reported trapped residents jumping to their death from the burning high-rise in the Binagadi district. Harrowing footage shows friends and families rushing to the scene and arguing with police who blocked access to the building. Scores of apartment-dwellers were hospitalized for burns and smoke-poisoning.
Murisif Makhmudov, the head of the company, Global Construction, which allegedly put the facing on the building, has been charged with the use of low-quality materials and was arrested on May 19, news agencies have reported.
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