Romanian villagers who built own bridge are probed

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Tired of waiting for authorities to
replace a bridge swept away last July by floods, Romanian villagers
have finally given up - and built their own.
The catch: They didn't have a permit. Now they're the subject of
a criminal investigation.
Prosecutor Viorel Damu said Friday that police are trying to
identify those who worked on the bridge, which was built in a
single day, Feb. 6. The guilty parties could be jailed for three
years or fined up to 70,000 lei ($20,800), he said.
The mayor called that "absurd." He said villagers tested the
bridge and limited the allowable weight to 2.5 tons. And they'll
tear it down again, too, he said - just as soon as authorities find
time build a new one.
Marginea was cut in half when the river overflowed seven months
ago, making it difficult to get from one part of the village to the
other. Police may be investigating, but on Thursday the prime
minister commended the villagers' "solidarity."
And even the prosecutor seemed to relent. He said the villagers
could escape punishment if an investigation concludes they acted
out of a "state of necessity."


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