MADRID – One person was killed and 11 others injured on Tuesday when scaffolding being used in the refurbishment of Madrid’s iconic Ritz hotel collapsed, authorities told EFE.
Five of the 11 injured people were attended to and released by medical personnel at the scene, and six others were taken to local hospitals, where two of them are listed in serious condition.
Fire chief Eugenio Amores said that all the wreckage of the scaffolding had piled up on the first floor of the hotel, although it is “too early” to know the specific causes of the incident, which police are investigating.
“Workplace accident,” said Madrid Emergency Service 112. “Scaffolding collapse in the interior of the hotel Ritz in Madrid during its refurbishment.”
A restaurant worker told EFE he heard a “thundering noise” at the time the accident occurred while it appeared that the scaffolding had collapsed downwards from the sixth floor.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, which operates the 108-year-old establishment, closed the Ritz on Feb. 28 to begin a 99 million euro ($114.8 million) renovation.
The aim of the work is to improve the hotel’s facilities and services while preserving its essence and the original style of the Belle Epoque, and the forecast is for the work to be completed in late 2019.
The hotel is located in Madrid’s so-called Golden Triangle of Art near the Prado Thyssen-Bornemisza and Queen Sofia museums, and during its history it has hosted members of the royal family, politicians, magnates and other famous people.