By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
NEARLY all of those evacuated from their homes near to the calle Rodriguez Arias disaster scene were back in the comfort of their own homes last night but, in response to a spate of calls over the past three days from people worried about the state of their properties, Palma fire fighters evacuated a building in calle Mont Lueri for safety reasons yesterday.

Many of those evacuated from their homes in the early hours of Monday morning after the four-storey building collapsed crushing seven people to death, said yesterday that they were relieved to be finally going home after having spent three nights in a local hotel. “We can now start getting out life back to normal,” one said, although a few were still a bit nervous despite all of the six evacuated buildings having been thoroughly inspected by fire fighters, engineers, surveyors and council technicians.

59 of the 60 evacuees were due to have been allowed to begin returning home at 8pm last night and they would have found little left of the collapsed property.

PULLED DOWN

Most of the remains of the building were carefully pulled down on Tuesday as police photographed in detail every section of the building as part of the investigation into what caused the worst ever tragedy of this kind in the Balearics.

Yesterday, the President of the Official Balearic College of Quantity Surveyors and Technical Architects, Ignacio Martinez, suggested that the property could have collapsed because of one of the building's forged supports had deteriorated.

Having inspected the scene himself and studied the photographs taken of the rubble and remains, he said that this is the most probable explanation and that it gave way causing a “domino effect”.

Martinez explained that, if one of the walls had given way, then the rubble would have fallen more towards the middle of the street.
However, the judicial inquiry which was opened on Tuesday, is expected to establish the exact cause of the disaster. The calle Rodriguez Arias building collapse is the fourth to have occurred in the Balearics since 1975 claiming a total of 15 lives.

Last December, a three-storey hotel annex in Cala Ratjada collapsed killing four construction workers.

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