House collapse victim dies
Friends are ‘convinced’ dust and stress of his ordeal worsened his condition
Friends ‘convinced’ dust and stress worsened his condition
By Alex Watkins A BRITISH man rescued from his Orihuela Costa apartment when the two-storey building started to collapse on September 26 has died, a close friend has told Costa Blanca News.
Malcolm Lawrence was aged 58 and sadly passed away at Torrevieja hospital on Tuesday morning.
His cause of death was given as being emphysema and liver failure, which existed previously to the incident, explained Stephen Barofka.
Nevertheless, he said Mr Lawrence’s friends are ‘convinced’ that the dust and stress of his ordeal worsened his condition.
Malcolm was rescued by the emergency services after the apartment above his ground floor home started to sink and he was unable to escape because the security grill on his door would no longer open.
He suffered extensive bruising and was also treated for shock at Torrevieja hospital before being discharged into the care of friends on October 2, although he still required oxygen.
However, his condition worsened a few days later and he had to be readmitted but did not recover.
Mr Lawrence’s daughter was due to arrive on Tuesday evening and details of the funeral had not been arranged at the time of going to press, explained Mr Barofka.
He described his friend as a ‘thoroughly nice gentleman’, who would ‘always help those in trouble’, adding: “We’ve lost one of our own.”
He indicated that a wake will probably be held in their local, The Friendly Bar, where they often used to ‘put the world to rights’.
Another British man had to be rescued from the topfloor apartment using a crane and he was also taken to hospital with shock but was otherwise unharmed, while a British couple downstairs managed to escape by themselves.
None of the residents have been allowed to return to collect any belongings since, due to the high risk of the structure collapsing completely.
A town hall spokeswoman told Costa Blanca News that its engineers’ report was handed to them on Monday and concluded that the building will have to be demolished.
She explained this will have to be arranged and paid for by the insurance companies of the eight households, meaning that if any of them were uninsured they would have to contribute towards the expense from their own pocket.
Residents of the six homes nearest to the collapsed building have not been allowed to move back in since either, due to their proximity to the precarious structure.
The town hall has issued a deadline for the demolition project to be presented but did not reveal when.
The evacuated residents have variously returned to the UK or been put up in hotels, rented accommodation or with friends.
The local community also rallied round to raise funds for anything they might need.
The house collapse in Orihuela Costa