Improvement works being carried out at the Ritz Hotel in Madrid have been marked by tragedy as one worker died and 11 were injured, two of them seriously, when five floors of scaffolding collapsed and crashed into the courtyard, taking part of the structure with it and hitting the workers below.
The incident occurred at 4pm on Tuesday. Four workers were buried under the rubble, including the 42-year-old who was killed. Of the 11 injured, five were treated on the scene and the other six were taken to different hospitals in the city. The two most seriously injured, who are aged 31 and 41, were admitted to the 12 de Octubre and Gregorio Marañón hospitals with multiple injuries. One was said to be in critical condition.
The head of the Madrid fire service, Eugenio Amores, says that the victims under the rubble were calling for help, so that enabled them to be located. The Sanjosé construction company has begun an internal investigation into the accident.
In June, it was announced that the Mandarin Oriental and Olayan Group, which owns the Ritz Hotel, had contracted the Sanjosé company to carry out the modernisation works. The hotel, which was inaugurated in 1910, will have fewer rooms and more suites, and the communal areas and meeting rooms are being improved. The hotel, which is in Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo, closed on 28 February and the works, estimated to cost 99 million euros, are expected to take 18 months to complete.