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Hunt for survivors of Majorca building collapse

A desperate search for survivors is under way after a two-storey restaurant collapsed on the Spanish island of Majorca, killing four people and injuring 16, local emergency services say.

Several people are believed to be trapped under rubble at the site of the Medusa Beach Club, a beachside restaurant in one of the busiest areas of the regional capital, Palma de Majorca.

Police said the victims are a Spanish man, two German women and a Senegalese man, reported to be Abdoulaye Diop, who made national headlines in 2017 for rescuing a man who was struggling in waters off the Majorca coast.

The building collapsed at about 20:30 local time (19:30 BST) on Thursday night. People fell into the basement below, where there were customers and staff.

Police say the terrace caved in because of “excessive weight” being placed on it, but investigations continue. Emergency workers have called for silence as they listen for survivors.

One firefighter described the scene as “nightmarish” to local newspaper Ultima Hora. He added that when his team arrived, people were crying and screaming as they stood around the rubble on the floor.

Raúl Pursnami, owner of fashion store Moda Meena on Cartago Street, next to the restaurant, said he saw the disaster unfold.

“I can hardly even speak. There were people eating, they were on vacation and now look what happened,” he told El País.

Diop, 44, had reportedly just left a nearby gym and was having his daily coffee at the restaurant when it collapsed, his friends told local media.

In 2017, he earned national praise for rescuing a man who had entered the water in Playa de Palma and was having trouble returning to shore.

At the time, he told local paper Ultima Hora: “It was two degrees and the water was freezing, but when you see a person in that situation you act without thinking to save their life.”

Officials say that psychology experts would be brought to the scene to aid those traumatised by the incident.

The UK Foreign Office declined to say whether any British nationals were affected by the collapse, with a spokesperson telling the BBC: “We are aware of an incident in Palma, and there are currently no reports of British nationals having been involved. We remain in contact with the Spanish authorities.”

One man was pulled from the rubble with a broken arm, and the rescue services are working on the assumption that more people are trapped.

The City Council of Palma, the Balearic capital, has announced three days of mourning.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez sent condolences to the victims’ families.

He said he was closely following all the latest developments and his government was ready to send all the required assistance.

The president of the Balearic Islands, Marga Prohens, said she was shocked by the incident and sent her condolences to the victims’ families.

Ms Prohens thanked the emergency services, as well as Mr Sánchez for his support.

Majorca is the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean.

Last year, more than 17 million people visited the island.

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