Excess weight on terrace of Spanish building may have led to collapse that killed 4, officials say

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain (AP) — Excess weight on a first-floor terrace may have contributed to the collapse of a building housing a bar and restaurant club on the Spanish island of Mallorca that killed four people, officials said Friday.

Spain’s National Police said the collapse Thursday killed two German women, ages 20 and 30, and a 33-year-old Spanish woman as well as a 44-year-old Senegalese man. The Spanish woman worked in the club, they said.

Palma de Mallorca Mayor Jaime Martínez and fire department spokesman Eder García told reporters that excess weight on the terrace may have caused the collapse. García later said the age of the building, which was not given, might also have been a factor.

Sixteen people were injured and five of them were reportedly in serious condition. They were treated at local hospitals. Martínez said that by midday Friday the lives of the five in serious condition were not in danger.

Officials said that of the 16 injured, 11 were Dutch and they were all hospitalized. Three of the five released were also Dutch. It was not clear if they were all tourists or some were residents. There were no immediate details on the nationalities of the other two people released.

Police and firefighters were inspecting the building Friday to try to ascertain the causes of the collapse.

The collapse happened in the city of Palma on the Mediterranean island popular with tourists. The building housed a restaurant called Medusa Beach Club, located near the beach, and the area was packed with tourists at the time.

Police were unable to say how many people were on the premises around 8:30 p.m. when the collapse happened.

Public television the Balearic Islands, IB3, reported Thursday night that there were people dancing on the terrace at the time. The terrace collapsed damaging the street-level floor below as well as a disco area in the basement.

Local resident Francisco Nogales said that after the accident there was the sound of “crying, you heard the people crying."

Martínez said that firefighters and police had to call on people in the street to try to stay quiet so that they might hear any calls for help from survivors.

Nogales and media reports said the Senegalese man was a regular who had gone in to have a coffee.

The city declared three days of mourning, and a minute of silence was observed at noon Friday.