The Malta Independent 27 September 2023, Wednesday
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Updated: Young man found dead beneath debris 16 hours after building collapse in Kordin

Sunday, 4 December 2022, 05:19 Last update: about 11 months ago

The young man who was missing after a building under construction collapsed in Kordin on Saturday was found dead beneath the debris early on Sunday.

It was around 1.30 am, a full 16 hours after the building crumbled, that the body of Jean Paul Sofia, 20, of Birkirkara, could be retrieved.

Members of the Civil Protection Department, with the help of drones and police dogs, had located the man’s body soon after the building had collapsed, trapping five other men along with Sofia.

The other five were pulled out within minutes, and all were taken to hospital. Three of the men are in intensive care while the other two were grievously hurt.

Sofia was the only one who remained missing as the CPD scrambled to search for him, a delicate operation that at times needed selective debris removal – brick by brick – to eliminate other danger.

Sofia’s body could be retrieved after part of a wall that remained standing was removed in a controlled manner by the CPD.

The man’s body was identified by his parents who were on site and taken to the mortuary in a police hearse.

The building, under construction, had crumbled at 9.30am on Saturday, with footage that emerged on sicla media showing that the corner collapsed and brought down the whole edifice within seconds.

The five workers who were pulled out of the rubble were taken to hospital. 

Health Minister Chris Fearne initially tweeted that two of them were in intensive care, but the police later said that three were in ITU. The other two suffered grievous injuries. One of them, the police said, is a Maltese man aged 42 who lives in St Paul's Bay.

Three of the other injured workers are from Albania, and the other one is from Bosnia.

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