Entire Building Collapses, Killing 4 and Injuring 16

(Cupventi.com) – Eyewitnesses described a terrifying scene on the Spanish island of Majorca when a two-story restaurant collapsed, killing four people and injuring 16 others. The incident happened at the Medusa Beach Club, a popular beachside restaurant in Palma de Mallorca, on Thursday night around 8:30 PM local time.

The collapse was sudden, and many people reported hearing a sound similar to an explosion. Wessel Roos, a 21-year-old Dutch tourist, was dining nearby with his girlfriend when it happened. “Suddenly we heard an explosion. It was not a big boom, but we just knew something was up. You could also feel the vibration of the ceiling falling down,” Roos told the BBC. “It was chaos and there were people screaming.”

As the terrace of the restaurant caved in due to what police believe was “excessive weight,” diners fell into the basement where other customers and staff were located. Emergency services arrived quickly, but the scene was described as “nightmarish” by one firefighter. He told local newspaper Ultima Hora that people were crying and screaming amidst the rubble.

The victims included a Spanish man, two German women, and Abdoulaye Diop, a Senegalese man who had previously made headlines in 2017 for rescuing a swimmer in distress off the Majorca coast. Diop had just finished his workout at a nearby gym and was having his daily coffee at the restaurant when the collapse occurred.

Local authorities are investigating whether the building complied with safety regulations. Witnesses like Santiago Aranga, who was walking his dog nearby, described the sound as a “boom” that felt like a bomb had gone off. He saw the immediate aftermath, with people in a state of panic, many of whom were German tourists.

Raúl Pursnami, the owner of a nearby fashion store, recounted seeing the disaster unfold. “I can hardly even speak. There were people eating, they were on vacation and now look what happened,” he told El País.

Efforts to rescue people from the debris were swift but challenging. One man was pulled out with a broken arm, while others were treated for various injuries. The scene was so traumatic that psychology experts were called in to help those affected.

The City Council of Palma has declared three days of mourning in honor of the victims. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez expressed his condolences and assured that the government was ready to provide all necessary assistance. Marga Prohens, the president of the Balearic Islands, also expressed her shock and gratitude towards the emergency responders.

Majorca, the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, is a major tourist destination, attracting over 17 million visitors last year alone. The tragedy has cast a shadow over the bustling holiday season, particularly in areas like Playa de Palma, which are especially popular with German tourists.

As the investigation continues, the community remains in mourning, grappling with the sudden and tragic loss of life.