Experts say a wall that collapsed and killed 9 in the Dominican Republic capital was poorly built

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — A concrete wall along an avenue in the Dominican Republic's capital that collapsed over the weekend and killed nine people during heavy rains was poorly designed, experts said Monday.

The government of the Caribbean country has come under scrutiny, with experts saying they had warned more than 20 years ago about the wall’s failures and lack of effort to fix them.

“It has weaknesses in the design,” civil engineer Cristian Rojas told The Associated Press. “No anchors were placed, and that is why the wall collapsed.”

Rojas, former president of the Dominican College of Engineers, Architects and Surveyors, said the force of the water in a flooded adjacent avenue, combined with the type of wall that was built, led to the collapse.

Dominican geologist Osiris de Léon recalled that the first warnings about the wall were made more than two decades ago. He posted a story from December 1999 on X, formerly known as Twitter, in which El Siglo newspaper quoted the college recommending that the wall be rebuilt because it was cracked and “it can fall and cause a tragic accident.”