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31 Mar, 2008 13:47

Ukraine house gets 4-wheel friend

Two families in the Ukrainian town of Makeevka are forced to share their house with an unwelcome visitor after a drunk driver smashed his truck into the building. It’s now feared the house will collapse if the truck is removed.

Three years ago the Arkhipov family lost all their property in a fire, and for many months they've been saving their money to rebuild the old town house. And now their home is in peril again.

“We saved coin by coin to rebuild the house. Where are my children going to live? I don't even know if they will have a roof over their heads tomorrow,” complains Liliya Arkhipova.

The Arkhipovs share the house with another family, but it's their part that's suffered the most damage. Now the neighbours share not only a common wall but also a big crack.

When the truck driver crashed into the wall, a woman was with him. She is now in hospital while the driver escaped with just a few scratches.

The two families demand just a safe roof over their heads. Desperate about their future, they went to the local mayor's office.

The mayor showed sympathy but shrugged his shoulders. He says he can only offer legal and some material help.

“The problem stems from the fact that the property insurance system in our country is so bad,” said Mayor Aleksandr Maltsev.