Two construction workers were killed yesterday and another five injured, two seriously, when part of the ageing Hotel Tivoli in the Playa de Palma, collapsed sparking fresh calls for all hotels and apartment blocks thrown up during the tourist boom in the 1960*s to be inspected after two other hotels collapsed last summer. The Tivoli, built in 1960 but abandoned since 1992, was undergoing renovation work when disaster struck at 11.50.a.m. A team of 15 construction workers were on site at the time, when one of the three-storey blocks collapsed. A massive and frantic emergency operation swung into action with many members of the public in the vicinity of the accident joining the rescue operation. While police, firemen and the general public battled to reach the builders trapped under the rubble and twisted mess of scaffolding, emotions were running high as families and friends of the builders arrived at the scene - desperate for news, be it good or bad. Paramedics and ambulance teams worked against the clock amidst the mayhem to treat the injured and rush them to local hospitals where casualty staff were on full alert. But anxious relatives had to watch the rescue mission and wait patiently for three hours before the Balearic director general for the Interior, Antoni Torres, was able to confirm the number of dead and their identities. The two fatal victims of the hotel collapse were Alberto Folch Romaguera and Juan Pericás Campins. Two of the injured were operated-on within hours of being evacuated from the scene. Eye witnesses said that they heard a huge rumble and then the three-storey block came crashing down. Many headed straight to the disaster zone, still enveloped in a huge cloud of smoke and dust, to offer immediate help. Fellow work mates not caught up in the catastrophe battled alongside volunteers to try and locate their colleagues, shouting through the rubble. Within minutes four fire trucks were at the scene, backed up by dozens of police from all three forces and around 50 volunteers. One of the two seriously injured men was located within minutes and was evacuated immediately to Son Dureta hospital, but firemen and the police battled for just over an hour to locate and free the other trapped and seriously injured builder. He was finally taken to hospital at 1pm. The scene resembled that of an earthquake and the Mayor of Palma, Joan Fageda, was clearly shocked and stunned by what he saw. Fageda was at the scene of the disaster when the body of Juan Pericas was located and dragged from the rubble. The Mayor was not alone, Balearic Chief Minister Francesc Antich and the Minister for Labour, Eberhard Grosske, whose primary concern since coming to office has been the improvement of safety and security in the workplace, and a number of other local minister and councillors looked on as the body was removed.
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