A four-storey building collapsed in Main Street, Mellieħa on Saturday morning.
An elderly woman who was trapped in the part of the building that remained standing was rescued by personnel from the Civil Protection Department. She was taken to hospital for treatment to shock.
Construction is taking place adjacent to the collapsed building. Debris from the falling building ended up in the hole excavated next to it as well as on the street.
Photos Mike Camilleri
The police and officers from the Civil Protection Department are on site, together with ambulances. Searches were carried out with the use of dogs and a drone in case other people were trapped, but luckily no persons were found under the debris. A woman and a child who live in the same building were not in the apartment at the time it collapsed, at around 6am.
People living in buildings close to where the collapse took place were evacuated as a precaution.
In an interview with TVM, assistant rescue officer Charlo Portelli said the woman was afraid when he approached her using a high-tower ladded. He said he tried to calm her down and give her reassurances but, when he realised that she could not do it on her own, he lifted her up and carried her onto the ladder.
He said the woman was in good health but visibly agitated because of the accident.
TVM reports also that the woman and child who lived in the same building were on an aircraft at MIA, which was ready for take-off. The two were disembarked and taken near the elderly woman in hospital.
It is the second building which collapsed in the past weeks. In April, a three-storey building fell in Guardamangia, minutes after families living in the edifice rushed out.
In a post on its Facebook page, the CPD said that at approximately 6am the Civil Protection Department was called for assistance in Mellieha.
50 personnel including Senior Officers responded to the call using 12 different appliances.
A resident was rescued from her bedroom, as seen in the video below using one of the Department’s turn table ladders.[embedded content]
The rescue operation was hampered by the fact that the remaining pary of the building was in serious risk of collapse, but the firefighters managed to rescue the casualty and carry her to safety.
Following the rescue CPD was informed that there were no persons unaccounted for but still deployed K9 dogs and drones to confirm.
The front of the building leading to the street was also checked to confirm that no passersby were caught under the debris, the CPD said.
Photo Mike Camilleri