Two workers died this Wednesday after the collapse of the roof of the San Vicente Paúl school, in Gijón, where they were carrying out maintenance and repair work in the morning. The roof has expired and has caused the two operators to be blocked by debris. There are also two other minor injuries. The firefighters have traveled to the educational center, have managed to locate the two bodies and have extracted them from the immense blocks of stone that have fallen from ceilings and walls, which have made the intervention difficult.
The workers were carrying out improvement tasks on the roof of the San Vicente Paúl concerted school, located in the center of Gijón, when around noon the surface had collapsed. The educational center, to which a crane, health personnel and firefighters have moved, has three floors below that roof. The rubble has reached the street, which has been cordoned off to prevent possible rubble from falling on passers-by.
Municipal sources explain that there were four people working at the time of the events. One of them managed to get out of the collapse on her own foot, the other has been transferred to the Gijon hospital with minor injuries and, on the other hand, the two employees who have died. The firefighters managed to get the first of them out of the mass of stones and forgings at around one in the afternoon, but with the second they took longer due to the complexity of the action. The man had been trapped under a huge concrete block and his body was found at around 4.30pm. One of the hypotheses that are handled, in the absence of the investigation confirming the causes of the event, points out that the works could have damaged a beam, which then expired and therefore caused the accident.
Sources from the Gijón City Council lament “a tragedy” made worse because the family of the deceased has approached the streets surrounding the school and have witnessed the tragic events on the spot, while the firefighters have been confirming what happened. The two fatalities are cousins and the worker who was able to emerge almost unscathed from the collapse is the son-in-law of one of the deceased. Both men were residents of the Asturian town of Mieres and were 38 and 40 years old respectively. The four workers were changing the nine meters of plasterboard on the ceiling of one of the floors of the school, a work that they had started last Monday and that they expected to finish this Wednesday or next Friday.
Rescue personnel have had to use a large crane to gain access to the building, where there were no children due to school holidays. The interior of the school is completely collapsed, with remains of brick, plaster and forgings between the books on the shelves in the classrooms. 690 students are studying at the center and are enjoying their Christmas holidays until the 10th, a circumstance used to carry out improvement works. The mayor of Gijón, Ana González; the President of the Principality of Asturias, Adrián Barbón; and the Minister of Education, Lydia Espina, have followed the evolution of the rubble and the search for the disappeared from close to the collapse.
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The mayor of Gijón has described the accident as “terrible” and has conveyed the condolences of all the residents of the city to the families of those affected and the educational community. The Gijon City Council does not plan to declare an official mourning day as it is a work accident and it is not going to suspend the Three Wise Men parade in the afternoon, according to Ana González in response to questions from the media.