By Humphrey Carter

PALMA City Council yesterday agreed to “immediately” set up a new building inspection team in order to handle the deluge of complaints about properties in the capital which have been received in the past few days after the Calle Rodriguez Arias tragedy in which seven people were crushed to death.

The new commission was proposed by the opposition Partido Popular but quickly approved at yesterday's council meeting.
The new team of municipal inspectors will be charged with responding to the complaints lodged since Sunday and carrying out a general review of properties in the capital in order to prevent any further property collapses.

It is also hoped that the formation of the new body with help ease the fears and concerns of city residents.

City Councillor for Urbanism, Yolanda Garvi, announced that the council has commissioned two separate investigations into the fatal collapse of the block of flats. One will be carried out by council inspectors and engineers, the other will be an independent inquiry. These will run parallel to the judicial inquiry opened by a Palma court on Monday.

However, she explained that the results of the two council probes will not be known for a couple of weeks. “So, we need to let the experts get on with their work, give them all the space they need because we require conclusive results as quickly as possible,” she stressed.

Garvi repeated that neighbours in the area have nothing to worry about because the properties have all been inspected thoroughly and that engineers and surveyors have ruled out any problems with the foundations or ground in the area.

She also revealed that, as part of the investigation, the Department of Urbanism is working on three fronts at the Son Reus waste disposal and recycling complex where the rubble is being carefully separated before being examined.

However, the spokesperson for the PP on Palma Council, Julio Martinez, said yesterday that the local authority “needs to be coming up with the answers to the many questions people on the streets are asking”.