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Court case on Santorini site tragedy

- by Archimedes

Court case on Santorini site tragedy.

It appears that a trial is to start to determine who is to blame for the roof collapse at the world-famous archaeological site at Akrotiri on the holiday island of Santorini. Twelve people have been charged in connection with the collapse of a huge steel roof that was built over the remains of the ancient Minoan settlement.

The defendants include civil engineers, architects and construction firm bosses who were involved in the ambitious roof project which was started in 1999.

The scheme was almost complete at the time of the tragic accident that killed a British tourist in September 2005. It is thought the case will be tried by a court on the island of Naxos.

The 'bioclimate' roof collapsed as workers were watering soil that had been laid over it. The accident led to the death of a British tourist, Richard Bennion, 46, while six others were injured.

The accused face charges of manslaughter through neglect, causing bodily harm, damaging a monument and violating building regulations. All face jail sentences or fines.

The trial has been postponed three times and there were fears that charges could be dropped. A statute of limitations of five years meant the case should have run out of time but a legal technicality has led to the deadline being extended.

The important Akrotiri archaeological site on Santorini has been closed to the public since the roof collapse. Work to build a new roof over the site began late last year after being held up by legal complications and official red tape. The site is unlikely to reopen until next year.