Three people critical after Paphos balcony collapse

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Three young Nepalese workers are in a critical condition after being seriously injured when the balcony of their crowded apartment in Paphos collapsed.

The three men, described as foreign workers, were sleeping on the balcony of an old apartment building on Nikos Antoniades Street in the town.

The balcony collapse was attributed to a structural failure, prompting Paphos mayor Phedon Phedonos to come out shooting at “greedy property owners” who cramp people into dangerous buildings.

In comments to state radio CyBC on Friday, Phedonos said the three young men from Nepal were sleeping on the balcony of a flat on the third floor, which collapsed onto the balcony below.

And the second balcony also collapsed, with the three men falling, along with structural debris on a parked vehicle below.

The three men were rushed to the Emergency Room at Paphos General Hospital, where doctors said their condition was very serious.

Phedonos recalled that authorities had taken action earlier last year over the specific building when he had visited the apartment building, taking note of numerous hazards.

“We knocked on doors, and we saw many items, including propane gas bottles stored on balconies,” Phedonos said.

He added that they had contacted the owner, conveying their complaints over their findings.

Phedonos told CyBC that it is a common practice of property owners to cramp people into tiny apartments, “charging €100 per head, with some having as many as 14 tenants in a two-bedroom apartment”.

It has yet to be made clear whether the building had been declared uninhabitable or whether building violations have been reported.