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Malta temporarily bans excavation after buildings collapse

Christian Fernsby |
Malta has temporarily banned ongoing excavation and demolition works following the collapse of two buildings in two months.

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The temporary ban was announced during a press conference on Thursday, hours after an apartment wall collapsed into a building site in Gwardmangia.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat held a meeting with stakeholders from the construction industry, which had been arranged in the wake of the collapse of a three-storey apartment building in Mellieha last Saturday.

Another apartment building adjacent to a building site collapsed in Gwardamangia in April.

The prime minister explained on Monday that draft regulations will be made available for a public consultation which will last five days. The regulations will be then discussed and approved at a cabinet level and put forward in Parliament.

Muscat explained that the ban will only be lifted once the reform is enacted.

The regulations proposed include obligation for architects and site managers to be on site when crucial decisions are taken and when certain excavation work is done.

Further geotechnical and geological studies will be obligatory contrary to the present situation, which only requires such studies when digging exceeds 3 m in depth. Such studies will require the signature of an architect, so that responsibility could be shouldered, Muscat explained.

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