A MAN whose partner and son were killed when his house collapsed has been threatened with a fine by telecommunications company MasMovil for not returning the router that lies buried among the rubble of his former home.
On August 25 the house in Peñíscola, Castellón collapsed in an incident which has left the small town of just under 10,000 people in a state-of-shock.
The man lost his 14-year-old son as well as his 54-year-old partner in the tragic incident.
Following the disaster the man cancelled his internet service with MasMóvil, but his anguish was exacerbated further when the company tried to levy a fine for not returning his internet router.
The man, who is still in shock over the events, explained that he could not return the router because his building had collapsed and it lay buried among the rubble.
But the company was not sympathetic, demanding the routers return or the payment of a €150 fine would apply.
“After explaining the situation and everything that happened last week, they didn’t rectify the situation and demanded that I return the device. I was enraged. It’s totally surreal,” he said.
Másmóvil instead sent him an email which read: “Unfortunately, we cannot exempt you from the penalty for not returning the router. Our terms and conditions do not cover this case. We apologize for the inconvenience”.
After a public outcry the company apologized to the man and has stated that he will not have to pay for the router after all.
A 26-year-old man, the son of the deceased woman, was also injured and was rescued the same night of the event from the ruins. He remains in a stable condition in hospital.
Peñíscola Mayor, Andrés Martínez, has likened the collapse to a “house of cards when you take a card from it”. Authorities have opened an investigation into the cause of the disaster.
Alberto Rubio, a director from the Department of Housing explained that the house was around thirty years old and was not constructed using reinforced concrete.
Rubio explained that “what happened is that, for some reason yet to be determined, one of those walls has lost its strength, probably because the foundations have given way”.
He said that it was built using parallel load-bearing walls, one of which collapsed cascading into the other floors “like a kind of domino effect”.
He said that the collapse would have been “very fast”, however the appearance of cracks and alarming noises did warn many of the neighbours who were able to escape the building.
On Tuesday this week machinery and cranes arrived at the site to begin the task of removing the rubble.