Majorca building collapses: 4 dead, 16 injured, rescue workers say

image source, AFP via Getty Images

image caption, Images from the scene show emergency crews moving substantial debris out of the building

  • author, Sofia Ferreira Santos
  • stock, BBC News
  • Report from London

A search for survivors is underway after a two-story restaurant collapsed on the Spanish island of Majorca, killing four and injuring 16, local emergency services said.

Many people are believed to be trapped in the rubble, where the beachside restaurant Medusa Beach Club is located in one of the busiest areas of the regional capital, Palma de Majorca.

The victims are a Spanish man, two German women and a Senegalese man, identified as Abdoulaye Diop, who made national headlines in 2017 for rescuing a man struggling in the sea off the coast of Majorca.

The building collapsed at around 20:30 local time (19:30 BST) on Thursday night. People fell to the basement below where customers and staff were.

Police say the cave-in was caused by “excessive weight” being placed on it, but investigations are ongoing. Emergency workers have called for calm as they listen to survivors.

A firefighter told local newspaper Ultima Hora that the scene was “brutal”. When his team arrived, he said, people were standing around the rubble on the ground, crying and shouting.

Raul Burznami, owner of Moda Meena, a fashion store on Cartago Street next to the restaurant, said he witnessed the devastation.

“I can’t even talk. People were eating, they were on vacation, and now look what happened,” he told El Pais.

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Diop, 44, was leaving a nearby gym and enjoying his daily coffee at a restaurant when he collapsed, his friends told local media.

In 2017, he received national acclaim for rescuing a man who entered the water in Playa de Palma and was in trouble returning to shore.

At the time, he told local newspaper Ultima Hora: “It was two degrees and the water was freezing, but when you see a person in that situation you act without thinking to save their life.”

Officials say psychologists will be called to the scene to help victims of the incident.

The UK Foreign Office declined to say whether any British nationals were affected by the collapse, with a spokesman telling the BBC: “We are aware of an incident in Palma and there are currently no reports of British nationals being involved. We are continuing to liaise with the Spanish authorities.”

One person was rescued from the wreckage with a broken arm, and rescue efforts are on as more people are believed to be trapped.

image source, Good pictures

image caption, A fire engine is pictured outside the building in Palma de Majorca

The city council of the Balearic capital, Palma, has announced three days of mourning.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

He said that he was closely monitoring all the latest developments and his government was ready to send all necessary assistance.

The president of the Balearic Islands, Marka Prohens, said she was shocked by the incident and offered her condolences to the families of the victims.

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Ms Brohens thanked the emergency services and Mr Sanchez for their support.

Majorca is the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

Last year, more than 17 million people visited the island.

image caption, Majorca is the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands
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