“I could not breath, I panicked and thought, ‘that’s it, this is the end for me’ “
There were scenes of panic on Saturday night at Malta’s entertainment spot, Paceville, after a glass bannister gave way when a large crowd of people, including some minors, were trying to get out of a club at the same time. 74 people sustained various degrees of injuries while 16 of them were kept for treatment at Mater Dei. Two girls, one 13 and the other 15, are in Intensive Care. The youngest girl is in danger of dying.
This video shows the dramatic scene in Paceville at around 12.30am between Saturday night and Sunday morning. Tens of young people who were leaving the establishment ‘Plus One’ plunged down after the glass bannister broke.
“It was very crowded because the club was fully booked. I could not even dance. I was in front of the DJ and at all at once I saw some space so I thought I would go dance over there. But when I went I could not breathe and began to panic. I saw everyone rushing out and I ran after them. They began leading us all out of the club but we could not all pass because the stairs were too narrow. Unfortunately, people began pushing and the glass bannister broke. Everyone began falling over and we fell down too. When the bannister gave way everyone ended up on top of me.”
This young man who hurt his back in the incident, said that he saw many people covering their faces with their tops a few seconds before the accident happened.
“When we fell to the ground, there were people laying on top of me from my waist down, and I thought, “this is it for me”. Then people started screaming, there were those who were unconscious, and I thought they had died, because blood was everywhere, like a swimming pool. Then a man, who I think was one of the club’s bouncers, began grabbing us and pulling us up one by one.It was like I was watching a film; it was an indescribable scene, it was terrifying, ” said the young man.
Early Sunday morning, the traces of the incident in St George’s street were still evident.
Ryan Borg, a young man who was also at this club said,” there was a lot of confusion, they called for an ambulance, and tried to rescue as many people as they could. It was crazy, everyone was crying and no one could find their friends.”
An inquiry has been opened into the incident led by Magistrate Doreen Clarke who is trying to establish all the facts which led to why people were not able to breath, to ascertain how many people were inside the club, the age of those who were there, how strong the glass bannister was, and whether procedures in case of an emergency were followed.
Parliamentary Secretary Chris Fearne said that in all, 74 people were injured and up to Sunday afternoon, 16 people were still recovering at Mater Dei. Their wounds varied from cuts, to broken bones and lacerations in other parts of their body. Two young girls are in ITU. One of them, who is only 13, is in danger of dying. She is suffering from serious head and facial wounds after a number of other young people feel on top of her. Six people who were admitted to hospital had to be operated on.
PM Joseph Muscat and Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil paid a visit to the injured at the hospital. The PM has insisted on complete transparency to ascertain the cause of the incident.