Last updated 6.30 am on Sunday.

A search for a missing worker at the site of a building collapse in Corradino ended at 2am on Sunday when he was found dead by rescuers of the Civil Protection Department.

Five other workers were pulled out alive from the rubble soon after the building came down suddenly 14 hours earlier. Three of them were seriously injured.

The dead worker was identified as 20-year-old JeanPaul Sofia

Sources said the 20-year-old was believed to have been delivering some tools to the site and had only been inside the structure for around eight minutes when the incident happened. His mobile phone line went dead after the collapse. 

A Saturday morning collapse

Sofia and others were at the construction site close to the CPD fire station in Paola's Corradino Industrial Estate when the multi-storey building partially collapsed at around 10am on Saturday, sparking a major rescue operation.

JeanPaul Sofia, 20, died in the collapse. Photo: FacebookJeanPaul Sofia, 20, died in the collapse. Photo: Facebook

Dozens of rescuers removed tons of rubble. They feared that the use of heavy machinery could trigger another collapse. 

The partially collapsed building. Photo: Jonathan BorgThe partially collapsed building. Photo: Jonathan Borg

Three of the hospitalised workers are Albanian, one is Bosnian and one is Maltese. One of the workers was embedded up to the knees in fresh concrete. 

Police spokesperson Brandon Pisani provides an update from the scene at 12pm. Video: Jonathan Borg

A person posting to social media claimed the collapse happened while workers were pouring concrete at the site. A video showing a worker hanging to a concrete pumper pipe in a desperate attempt to stay alive. 

Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri praised the rescue workers, describing the operation as one of the most delicate and difficult operations carried out.  He later announced the discovery of the dead worker and expressed his condolences. 

"I witnessed first-hand personnel working in a very dangerous and unstable environment to save others. The coordination between many entities including civil protection, the police and the health department is essential to provide the best possible assistance in such incidents. Their work and dedication is priceless," Camilleri told Times of Malta.   

Another video taken of the collapse site showed the extent of the tragedy, with concrete blocks, metal and wood lying across a large stretch of land. 

Polidano Group offered its assistance to the recovery operation. Workers from the company assembled the crane on site and the delicate lifting of beams and columns from the debris started.

'Everyone was stunned'

Times of Malta spoke to a witness who saw the incident first-hand.

"Some children were playing a football match in a nearby pitch, and their parents were watching. All of a sudden we heard a huge, earthquake-like noise, of a building collapsing," he said.

"Everyone was stunned. The match stopped and we all looked at the building. We didn't immediately realise what had happened. We thought that maybe they were demolishing the building.

"But a few seconds later we saw a man hanging for his life from the concrete truck. That's when we knew this was a tragedy."

Magistrate Marse-Ann Farrugia is leading an inquiry into the collapse.

A worker runs to the incident site as the rescue operation proceeded on Saturday morning. Photo: Jonathan BorgA worker runs to the incident site as the rescue operation proceeded on Saturday morning. Photo: Jonathan Borg

A drone flies past the partially collapsed building in Corradino. Photo: Jonathan BorgA drone flies past the partially collapsed building in Corradino. Photo: Jonathan Borg



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