Onlookers at the incident in Palma on Wednesday. | Alejandro Sepúlveda


Although yet to be officially confirmed, it is understood that the Balearic government will be replacing Vicente Soria as director of the 112 emergencies centre. A new appointment will be made in a matter of days.

The reason, according to sources, is that someone with a more technical background is wanted for the position; the 112 service faces a series of challenges related to new technologies.

The dismissal of Soria, it is being said, has "absolutely nothing" to do with this week's case of the man who appeared to be dead in the Riera torrent in Palma but who later died at Son Espases Hospital.

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There are questions as to what actually happened on Wednesday morning, indications being that there were two separate and unrelated incidents - a call to 112 at 5.40am and the discovery of the man (Moroccan, aged around 40) in the torrent two and a half hours later.

The Defensor del Paciente association has called on the Prosecutor's Office to open an investigation into responses by the emergency services and therefore communications between 112, the police and medical services. In a statement, the association says: "There remains a big question as to whether this man would still be alive if it had not taken so long to act."

In May last year, Soria explained to the media that the 112 IT system was created in 1995 and was "totally obsolete". A new system is due to be up and running this year. In November, a union issued a scathing report into working conditions at the 112 centre.