Rooftop Swimming Pool Collapses Into Family Living Room

A teenage boy had a lucky escape after a roof terrace containing a newly erected swimming pool collapsed as he sat in the living room below.

The incident took place in a house on San Jaime Street in the city of Elda, in the southeastern Spanish province of Alicante in the Valencia region where three adults and four children were living.

The incident comes after local experts had warned only a few weeks ago that a growing number of people had set up swimming pools on rooftops that could not support them after being prevented from accessing public pools because of the lockdown.

In this incident, the roof terrace collapsed under the weight of the detachable swimming pool, falling into the living room below.

Fortunately, nobody was in the pool at the time and only a 17-year-old boy, who has not been named, was in the room below, receiving minor abrasions to his leg.

A 37-year-old man was treated for an anxiety attack and all seven occupants of the house were evacuated by firefighters using a ladder.

Preliminary investigations suggest the beams which had been used in the roof construction could not support the weight of the pool.

Experts will now check the house to confirm the swimming pool as the cause of the collapse, with firefighters checking other houses in the area to ensure no other collapse might occur.

The plastic swimming pool was reportedly full with around 8,000 litres of water and a roof terrace wall also collapsed into the living room when the accident happened.

The General Board of Technical Architecture of Spain warned residents about the danger of placing swimming pools on roof terraces some weeks ago, with fears of an increase in incidents during Spain’s coronavirus lockdown.

The experts said that terraces can typically support 200 kilogrammes (441 lbs) per square metre (10.7 square feet), the same weight as a swimming pool with 20 centimetres (8 inches) of water in it.

But adult swimming pools can have between 70 or 80 centimetres (28-31 inches) of water, increasing their pressure to 700 or 800 kilogrammes (1,543 lbs – 1,763 lbs) per square metre.

The experts said detachable pools should be placed in the centre of a garden away from load-bearing walls.

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