IN IMAGES: ‘Excessive weight’ may have caused Mallorca restaurant collapse

Spanish fire crews picked through the wreckage of a beachfront restaurant on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca on Friday, searching for clues, after it partially collapsed, killing four people and injuring 16.

IN IMAGES: 'Excessive weight' may have caused Mallorca restaurant collapse
A Police officer stands during investigation works one day after a two-storey restaurant collapsed, killing four and injuring 16 people on Playa de Palma, south of the Spanish Mediterranean island's capital Palma de Mallorca, on May 24, 2024. (Photo by Jaime REINA / AFP)

Authorities, who declared three days of mourning, gave no immediate indication as to the cause but said the excessive weight of the building was most likely to blame.

The packed two-storey building housing Beach Club Medusa collapsed late on Thursday afternoon in the Playa de Palma area south of the capital with the tourist season already in full swing in the Balearic Islands, which also includes Ibiza and Menorca.

Emergency vehicles outside the Beach Club Medusa restaurant. (Photo by Jaime REINA / AFP)

“There are four dead and 16 injured,” an emergency services spokeswoman said, lowering the initial toll from around 21 injured.

Seven people were injured “very seriously” and nine were seriously injured, emergency services said on the X social media platform. They were taken to various hospitals in the Mediterranean island’s capital, Palma de Mallorca.

Emergency services remove part of the rubble following the collapse. (Photo by Jaime REINA / AFP)

Firefighters were deployed in number, ambulances rushed victims to hospital and the street was sealed off by police to allow rescue teams to work, an AFP journalist saw.

One firefighter described a “nightmarish” scene.

Graphic content: A body covered by a survival blanket is seen after the two-storey restaurant partially collapsed. (Photo by Jaime REINA / AFP)

He told the Ultima Hora newspaper that when he arrived, people were crying and screaming around the rubble piled up on the ground floor.

Rescuers pleaded for silence so they could listen out for people who could be trapped under the rubble.

The head of the Palma fire service, Eder Garcia, said the street-level floor of the building had collapsed onto a bar in the basement, which is “where we found the most victims”.

Firefighter’s head Eder Garcia, flanked by Palma’s mayor Jaime Martínez (2L) and Balearic government’s President Margalida Phroens (L), talks to media after the two-storey restaurant collapsed.(Photo by Jaime REINA / AFP)

“The causes are being investigated. The first hypothesis is that it was possibly due to excessive weight,” he told reporters at the scene.

The four people killed in the collapse of a beachfront restaurant on Spain’s holiday island of Mallorca were two German tourists, a Senegalese man and a Spanish woman, police said on Friday.

“The victims are two German women aged 20 and 30, a 23-year-old Spanish employee and a 44-year-old Senegalese man,” a police spokesman told AFP.

A technical team was due to visit the site on Friday to determine the cause of the collapse of the building, which sits on Calle de Cartago facing the Bay of Palma.

Photo taken the morning after Beach Club Medusa’s collapse showing the rubble piled up outside. (Photo by Jaime REINA / AFP)

‘Terrible collapse’

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez conveyed his condolences to the victims’ families on X, saying he was “closely following the consequences of the terrible collapse”.

The central government was prepared to send “all the necessary resources” to help the regional authorities cope, he added.

Sanchez said he had spoken to the governor of the Balearic Islands region, where Mallorca is located, and to the city’s mayor.

Balearic Islands president Marga Prohens said on X that she was “shocked” by the news, adding she was sending “love and warmth to the families of the four people who have lost their lives”.

Close-up of the building showing the damage caused by the collapse. (Photo by Jaime REINA / AFP)

Mallorca is known for its pristine waters and beaches, and the Balearic Islands attract more tourists than all Spanish regions after Catalonia.

More than 14 million tourists visited the islands last year, according to official figures.

Thursday’s collapse took place at the start of the archipelago’s peak tourist season, on a beachfront avenue home to several shops and entertainment venues.

The 2009 collapse of a three-story building in Palma de Mallorca killed seven people, including three Colombians and two Germans.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Owner of Spanish restaurant in Mallorca where 4 died in terrace collapse arrested

Spanish police said Wednesday they have arrested, for manslaughter, the owner of a beachfront restaurant on the island of Mallorca where four people died when a terrace gave way.

Owner of Spanish restaurant in Mallorca where 4 died in terrace collapse arrested

Two German tourists, a Senegalese man and a 23-year-old Spanish woman who worked at the venue in Palma de Mallorca, were killed when the recently renovated first-floor terrace collapsed on May 23rd. It fell onto the ground floor, which then plummeted into the basement. Another 14 people were injured.

The police homicide group has “arrested the owner of the company that operated the business over his alleged involvement in four cases of manslaughter and six cases of serious injury through gross negligence,” police said.

READ ALSO: Bar terrace in deadly Mallorca collapse was unlicenced

A police investigation found that during the refurbishment, a roof had been added to the terrace, which did not have a licence.

“The structure had not been reinforced for such use and as a result of the modifications had been overloaded with weight,” police said.

The weight of the roof and the 21 people on the terrace “caused the structure to collapse,” the statement said.

Police did not name the arrested man but media identified him as Austrian businessman Christian Arnsteiner who owns the company that operated the Medusa Beach Club in a seaside area of Palma that is popular with tourists.

The Balearic Islands are one of Spain’s top tourist attractions with more than 14 million foreign tourists last year, according to official figures.