Three members of the family were killed when hundreds of kilos of clothing collapsed on them
Police officers in the Spanish city of Alicante have launched an investigation after a married couple and their daughter suffocated after hundreds of kilos of clothes they were storing in their bedroom collapsed on top of them.
The couple's eldest daughter alerted the authorities when she awoke in a separate room in their apartment in the city centre. Alarmed by the quiet in the family home, the 18-year-old made her way into their room, unable to find anybody in the mass of clothes.
Officers managed to find and pull the 12-year-old girl out of the piles of clothes, but were unable to revive her. Firefighters later arrived on site to help locate the bodies of the parents from under the mountain of clothes.
The parents made money by collecting clothes in Alicante and selling them on to second-hand stores or flea markets. They also gathered clothes to sell in Morocco and Algeria.
Investigating officers described the family’s small apartment as being packed to the rafters with boxes. Authorities believe that part of the floor of the apartment collapsed under the weight of all the boxes, casting them onto where the family was sleeping.
The freak accident is believed to have taken place between 8am and 9am, with the older daughter reportedly having slept through it. Neighbours in the building, which is now believed to have undergone structural damage, also reported hearing no sound of the collapse.