The collapse of a building in Gwardamanġa adjacent to a construction site should not be used to “characterise everything” related to construction in Malta, Joseph Muscat said on Thursday.

“When you take into consideration how much construction work is under way, we cannot use these events to characterise everything from this accident, as this would not be fair to those who abide by the rules," the Prime Minister said, hours after the partial collapse of three-storey block.

The corner wall of the three-storey block came crashing down on Wednesday night, with bricks and concrete rubble spilling onto the road and into a construction site next door. Nobody was injured with some neighbours evacuating the building just in time. 

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“It should also be a lesson that things can be done better. I will await the conclusions of the investigations. We have asked the Building Regulations Office (BRO) to tell us whether they received any complaints. I have no doubt that we need clear statements on this,” Dr Muscat insisted.

The partial collapse of the building in Gwardamanġa. Photo: Matthew MirabelliThe partial collapse of the building in Gwardamanġa. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

He confirmed that residents who were affected by the incident will be offered “assistance” but did not divulge any details on what this would entail.

Dr Muscat went on to acknowledge that this was not simply something that had impacted one construction site but there were other incidents that had occurred recently.

“We need to make sure that things, and I’m not saying that is what happened in this case, are not simply done on paper. If there is a need for more assurances on the spot, that is what I care about. In fact, I have asked for this information,” Dr Muscat said.

When asked for his reaction to claims by residents that they had resorted to the authorities but no action was ever taken, Dr Muscat was quick to add that he was informed that the BRO had not received any reports of complaints.

“I don't have reason to doubt the residents and that is why we are waiting for all the reports. But maybe it could also be a matter of awareness on where the complaints are to be filed,” the Prime Minister added.

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