Updated 3.10pm

Scaffolding and the façade of a construction site crashed onto Triq Belvedere in Gżira on Tuesday afternoon, missing pedestrians by metres.  

The police confirmed that the collapse was reported at around 1.30pm.

Rescue workers were immediately on site searching for any injured people.

The collapsed scaffolding and façade.

Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said on Facebook that according to initial reports, no one was harmed.

The site is being developed into a 116-room, nine-floor hotel, according to a planning permit issued in 2021 (PA 08659/21).

Developer Kris Calleja and architect Colin Zammit applied to demolish various properties on Triq Belvedere to build the hotel, which will include a new façade identical to the existing one in the interest of “maintaining visual rhythm” of the streetscape. 

According to publicly available documents, the Building and Construction Authority issued a stop notice on Tuesday afternoon after the collapse, "except to render the site safe".

The site soon after the crash.The site soon after the crash.

Eyewitness recounts collapse

A man who was walking in Triq Belvedere at the time of the collapse said he was roughly 10 metres away when the scaffolding surrounding the building gave way and the masonry of the facade followed swiftly, crashing into the balcony of the house across the street and spilling into the street below.

“I was listening to music on headphones but the sound the crash made was huge and there was dust billowing everywhere,” said the Gżira resident, who asked not to be named.

He added that he and another pedestrian who also witnessed the collapse were frozen in shock and consoled each other after potentially being seriously injured.

Video of the rescue workers: Matthew Mirabelli

“The worst thing is that it's almost not surprising that this happened because it seems to be happening everywhere,” the witness continued.

“This building has been in this state - just a façade holding on for dear life - for ages. It should be either demolished or preserved, but not left in this sorry state.”

He added that he was grateful it did not appear that anyone had been injured.

“It could have turned out much worse for me if I was just a couple of metres closer, or even worse - it could have happened later in the day when I take the same walk with my children,” he said.

Photo of the rescue workers: Matthew MirabelliPhoto of the rescue workers: Matthew Mirabelli

Project was cleared for works last November

Publicly available documents show that the hotel project was initially recommended for refusal by a PA case officer, who deemed it to be too high and with too many floors. 

The PA case officer also noted that the proposed building did not comply with the necessary sanitary regulations. 

However, the PA planning board later decided that the reasons for the refusal had been subsequently addressed by the applicant and voted to approve the permit.

According to publicly available documents, the site was cleared for work to begin last November. 

Photo of the rescue workers: Matthew MirabelliPhoto of the rescue workers: Matthew Mirabelli

Photo of the rescue workers: Matthew MirabelliPhoto of the rescue workers: Matthew Mirabelli


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