Terrified guests describe “nightmare” roof collapse at Hotel RIU Karamboa
September 2018 was a memorable month for holidaymakers in Cape Verde. Guests at the Hotel RIU Karamboa on the island of Boa Vista, Cape Verde, have described “terrible” scenes as part of a roof fell through in the main building, causing injury to guests.
Several accounts on TripAdvisor report chaos and confusion among guests as part of a domed roof collapsed through the terrace, sending heavy concrete and timber plummeting onto the people below. Reviewers describe terrified guests running for cover, worried that a bomb may have gone off.
One reviewer states that the injured parties were airlifted to a hospital off the island so that their injuries could be urgently treated. Almost all those posting voiced discontent with how the incident was handled by the hotel and tour representatives. Michael G, travelling as part of a couple, remarked that “Nothing was said about the fall & a lot of guests were very angry at the fact we were all left in the dark.”
The major Tour Operator TUI affords the hotel a 5-star rating, that “the spacious property is reminiscent of a sultan’s palace…expect domed ceilings and arched windows.” Reviewer Antsun2007 claims that the construction of the hotel means this was an accident waiting to happen:
“I work in construction and the next morning it was clear what had happened. Both TUI and RIU tried to play this incident down. The turrets on the roof are massive and constructed in such a way I have never seen. The hotel were very lucky this could of been so much worse. The problem is the rest of the turrets on the property are all posing the same risk. If these are not sorted it is a case of when they collapse not if!”
Holiday Claims Bureau’s accident specialist Tracy Stansfield says that package holidaymakers should be aware of their rights to claim in the UK when accidents occur:
“The awful stories we’re hearing from the Hotel RIU Karamboa serve to remind us that a holiday package is not just about providing amenities or beautiful scenery. It’s frankly unacceptable that part of a hotel could suddenly collapse onto guests at any hotel, let alone one purporting to be 5-star. Regular structural checks should be carried out to ensure dreadful incidents like this do not happen. Your tour operator has a responsibility to ensure that the accommodation they provide is safe for holidaymakers.”
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