Ibiza Council yesterday launched an inquiry into the owners of the Edificio Barcelo, part of which collapsed in Ibiza last Saturday. While the cause of incident the is yet to be confirmed, it appears that the owners did not have building permission for the interior reformations being carried out to the row of shops attached to the apartment block. According to the council, tour company Viajes Barcelo applied for permission on December 13 to carry out reforms to the interior and exterior of the building at a cost of 15.9 million pesetas. The council planning office asked for the project and a health and safety report to be submitted, but as the council had not received the two reports, no permission had been granted. The 20 people evacuated from the apartment block have complained bitterly about the lack of help and assistance from the local authorities over the weekend, but yesterday the mayor of Ibiza rejected the criticism. Xico Tarres gave his assurances that the local authorities offered all of the evacuated people, five of whom were children, alternative accommodation “but it was representatives from Barcelo who said they would take care of finding the evacuees accommodation.” However, a meeting was held yesterday and the local council has moved all of the evacuees to a local hotel at the council's expense. The hotel has also been asked to provide laundry facilities and any other needs the guests may have. The PP spokesperson on the local council, Virtudes Mari, yesterday criticised the slow response of the local authorities.

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