THE Balearic Minister for Mobility and Town Planning, Gabriel Vicens, said yesterday that the preliminary investigations as to the cause of the flooding in Palma's metro revealed that modifications to the water drainage system in the Son Castello stretch was authorised by SFM (Majorca's railway company).

The change was authorised after the metro had been operating for about a month. During a press conference after the Cabinet meeting, Vicens presented a document signed by the Board of SFM and dated May 16, which accepted a channelling system inferior to the one initially planned. The metro had been inaugurated 24 days before this.

According to the Minister, the modification of the project meant the substitution of a subterranean pipe for draining rainwater. This pipe was to be made of concrete, 1.5 metres wide, and should have run under the Via Asima. The modification substituted another, narrower, pipe (1 metre wide) and made of PVC. Also, a connection between this second channel and EMAYA's drains on the other side of the street (which prevent flooding of the road) was removed. Vicens said that “probably” if the project had been done the way it was originally designed, “it would have worked” and the metro stations wouldn't have been flooded.