[WATCH] Prosit, perit! How Gwardamanga victim Janet Walker’s worst fears became reality

Gwardamanga victim Janet Walker had warned builders of the impending damage she feared would become reality

Prosit, perit! How Gwardamanga victim Janet Walker’s worst fears became reality

The victim of the Gwardamanga wall collapse, Janet Walker, had already warned builders on site of the damage her property had incurred during works on 8 May, 2019.

On Thursday morning, she woke up to the disaster she had predicted, when the common wall of her house was ripped out due to the instability of neighbouring works on the demolished house.

READ ALSO: Guardamangia house’s wall torn out in construction fracas

Walker had taken to Facebook plenty of times ahead of the collapse, posting photos showing the damage inside her home as a result of the works on the adjacent construction site. She had even spoken to the media, saying that she was afraid of living inside her home.

The woman lives with her seven-year-old daughter and her elderly mother.

READ ALSO: A disaster foretold: Architect had warned contractor of concerns

At one point, she even told one of the construction workers to stop digging since severe damage could be spied along her kitchen walls.

“You are carrying on with your work despite what I told you what's been done to my walls. We had to move the family outside our home but you carry on working!” she told a reluctant construction worker outside her home a month prior to the collapse.

On Thursday morning 13 June, her worst fears became reality.

“Prosit, perit!” she called out as she livestreamed the damaged wall outside her house. What we had been saying has actually happened… congratulations to the BRO [Building Regulatios Office], the PA [Planning Authority]. Nobody takes any responsibility…

“They said we were safe. We are waiting for the rest to fall.”

Walker told Pietà Mayor Keith Tanti she could not be separated from her elderly mother if alternative living arrangements were provided.

Even after the 8 June collapse of a Mellieha apartment, Walker had taken to Facebook to write a long post she herself described as a ‘rant’.

“How many people have to get hurt before something proper is done? Logic tells you that every citizen should be surrounded with laws that makes him feel safe, but when all is said and done, you realise that a lot has to be done so that your own property is protected from the demolition of buildings adjacent to you,” she said.

She added that the process of complaining includes paying an architect, paying a lawyer, warning the BRO and the PA who refer one to a lawyer. “All the expenses are yours... and when you get hurt or killed, who’s going to compensate?”

Walker complained having been powerless, with police officers likewise unable to do unless they were provided with an architect’s note saying that a property is deemed unsafe.

An architect employed by her to assess the safety of Walker’s building told MaltaToday that he had advised the owner of the construction site to not go ahead with the project.

“We had warned that this could happen. There are plenty of emails showing our correspondence, but he went ahead with the work regardless,” he said.

The Civil Protection Department told the residents that they would not be able to enter to obtain their items from their homes until at least 5pm on Thursday afternoon.

Until then, the Pietà mayor is attempting to provide some respite and some arrangements to the four affected families, including an Italian couple who lives on the top floor.

More in National