Fourteen people were injured yesterday when stonework and plaster from the ceiling of a McDonald’s located in the neighbourhood of Balvanera collapsed on them as they waited in the queue.
The incident took place at midday while many people were out enjoying the first day of spring.
According to the director of communications for McDonald’s, Frederico Ovejero, and chief fireman Rubén Abuin, the restaurant and the record shop next door used to be part of a larger, single building. When the building was restored, it was split into two and the height of the ceiling was altered.
Of the fourteen injured, ten were women, including four who were pregnant, two men and two children. All were taken immediately to the nearby Ramos Mejía Hospital, where they were treated and quickly discharged.
Ovejero asserts that the McDonald’s branch “has all of its papers in order” and that it is “in perfect condition.” Furthermore, he blames the original structure of the building and its owners for the collapse of the ceiling.
Local shop keepers explained that this particular McDonald’s is always busy because of its location in an area close to the Once del Sarmiento train station and Plaza Miserere, with many bus lines stopping there.
The congestion cause by the incident disrupted transport in the area for three hours, with many drivers forced to divert from their usual route.
Officers from the federal, scientific and metropolitan police were present, as well as firemen, an emergency team from the city government and an ambulance from the Emergency Medical Attention System (SAME).