Victims’ families of Alexandria factory collapse arrest fugitive owner

Ahram Online, Tuesday 2 Aug 2011

After the police failed to arrest the factory's owner, the families of his dead workers do it themselves and hand him over to face his seven-year sentence

The families of several of the victims of those who died when a factory in Alexandria collapsed seven months ago have taken matters into their own hands and arrested the fugitive factory owner sentenced to seven years in prison for unintentional murder. The families handed over Ahmed Mostafa Teira, 76, to the police station.

The families, who had waited for the police to arrest Teira, lost patience and tracked him down after a seven-month wait.

The factory collapsed in December leaving 26 dead and nine injured. Families of the workers who have died as a result were outraged on the day of the collapse and clashed with police who intervened to halt them from reaching the accident site.

According to Adel Labib, Alexandria's governor, the factory was built in 1965 without a license, and had no legal documents from the local council.

The victims' families blame the tragedy on bribes which they claim the factory owner paid to employees in the local council, who in exchange turned a blind eye to the state of the facility.

The factory workers come from poor families living in the disadvantaged area of El-Hadra in the northern port city of Alexandria.

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