Residents heard building move and ran towards stairs to escape from apartment block
Last night a block of three apartments which is next to a construction site collapsed in Guardamangia Hill. TVM is informed that no one was injured despite the fact that people live in these apartments.
As soon as the building started to collapse, a great commotion broke out in the area when the loud noise of falling stones was heard, startling the neighbours. Residents expressed their anger to TVM about the effects of the construction site next door which has not yet reached street level. A head count was taken to establish whether all the residents had managed to escape from the building safe and sound.
Around ten minutes after the initial collapse, another loud noise was heard as more stone blocks began falling. The stones fell in the middle of the road and buried a van which was parked in front of the apartment block. From the street, one could see the extensive damage caused to the building and the cracks in the inside walls of the apartments.
Police from the Hamrun district were called to the scene together with Supt Joe Hersey and Inspector Robert Vella, as well as Police from the Rapid Intervention Unit.
As time went on more employees from the Department of Civil Protection started to arrive to check whether there was a risk that the building would continue to collapse. A medical team was also present.
Enemalta employers also arrived on the scene to remove the electrical wires which were ripped from the facade of the building as a result of the building’s collapse.
TVM is informed that luckily, the people who live in the apartments did not happen to be in the parts which collapsed.
As soon as they felt the tremors, the inhabitants all fled towards the stairs and ran out of the apartment block entrance. A resident told TVM “it is only by the grace of God that I did not end up as dust like those stones”. The building is located just down the street from the former St Luke’s hospital mortuary.
The authorities are investigating and the Police have closed off the road with barricades.
UPDATED: “It was only by God’s grace that I did not end up as dust like those stones” – resident