Santorini roof ‘was shoddily built’

Friday’s collapse of a massive steel roof covering the Akrotiri archaeological site on Santorini, which caused the death of a British tourist and injured six people, was due to poor material used in construction, engineers involved in the project allegedly said. Three engineers employed by the contracting consortium J&P Avax-Impregilo-Embedos – Diamantis Deliyiannis, Thanassis Sakellaropoulos and Pavlos Tombakidis – faced a Naxos prosecutor yesterday. They are said to have denied any responsibility. According to the Athens News Agency, the claims were made by two of the engineers, who were not identified. Police in Athens were seeking another engineer, Nikos Fintikidis, who had been supervising the roof’s construction for the Archaeological Society. PASOK spokesperson Nikos Athanassakis yesterday criticized Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis for approving the operation of the ancient site ahead of last year’s Olympics, a year and a half before the roof’s construction had been due for completion. «Some matters are above party politics,» Tatoulis retorted. The body of 46-year-old British national Richard George Bennion was due to be flown back to relatives by this morning. Bennion’s 51-year-old companion Sheila Jenkins, who was injured on the site, was also due to return to the UK. Two Americans, two Slovaks and a German were being treated at Athens hospitals yesterday. The extent of their injuries was unclear. Rescue workers flew back to Athens on Saturday after failing to find more victims.