Review of building practices initiated after fatal house collapse is concluded

Prime Minister Robert Abela says that a committee set up to review building practices and rules after the house collapse that killed Miriam Pace, has concluded its work

Rescuers searched for eight hours among the debris before finding Miriam Pace's lifeless body
Rescuers searched for eight hours among the debris before finding Miriam Pace's lifeless body

A committee set up by the Prime Minister to review building industry practices after a woman was killed in a house collapse has finished its work.

The committee was tasked to review the rules governing the building industry and its practices in the wake of the fatal tragedy that killed 54-year-old Miriam Pace.

“The committee has concluded its report,” Robert Abela said in a recorded interview that will be broadcast on TVM’s Xtra on Thursday night.

The committee was chaired by retired judge Lawrence Quintano and had as its members, geo-technical engineer Adrian Mifsud, architect Mario Cassar and lawyer Mark Simiana. It was set up on 4 March, two days after Pace was killed when her house collapsed.

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The collapse was linked to excavation work that was taking place on an adjacent construction site. Four men have since been charged in court, including the construction site architect and site technical officer, with involuntary homicide.

The committee had to take stock of the situation and propose changes to the regulatory set up governing construction.

During the television interview, Abela said changes were needed in building methods, insisting that rules had to be obeyed.

However, he posited the construction industry as a key driver of economic recovery in a post-COVID-19 period.

“My message is not one in favour of unbridled construction but it is a crucial sector for our economic recovery at a time when a prime mover like tourism will continue to suffer with no income for months ahead,” Abela said.

The Prime Minister said there were cowboys in the sector and these should be weeded out, but insisted the majority of developers worked responsibly.