Two people found dead in rubble after explosion rocks building in Madrid

·2-min read
Two people found dead in rubble after explosion rocks building in Madrid

An explosion has ripped through a four-storey residential building in central Madrid, Spain, killing two people and injuring at least 18.

Spanish emergency services initially said they were searching for two people who had been working on the building.

Firefighters later said the bodies of two people, aged 21 and 27, had been found amid the rubble.

Video released by the city of Madrid showed paramedics attending to the injured at the scene in the upmarket neighbourhood of Salamanca, as police and firefighters cordoned off streets cluttered with glass and debris.

Four of the injured were taken to hospital, including one person in a serious condition, after the blast sent plumes of smoke billowing over parts of the area.

Emergency crews combed the building to check the structure and to search for anyone trapped inside, Madrid mayor Jose Luis Martinez Almeida told broadcaster Telemadrid.

Asked about reports saying a gas leak had caused the explosion, the mayor said it was too early to know.

“What is known is that some work was being done in the building, and neighbours said there was a powerful explosion,” he said.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez said in a tweet that his office was closely following the situation.

“I’ve just called Mayor Almeida in order to convey my solidarity and support to the victims of an explosion in a building in Madrid,” he said.

Debris and damaged vehicles are seen after the explosion in Madrid (VICTOR MANUEL ARELLANO via REUTE)
Debris and damaged vehicles are seen after the explosion in Madrid (VICTOR MANUEL ARELLANO via REUTE)

Emergencies service spokeswoman Gema Martin earlier said that a school across the road from the building was not damaged and that there was no need to evacuate the children.

Firefighters and police had rushed to the scene of the blast in the upmarket district of the Spanish capital.

Three storeys of the building were said to have been affected.

A spokesman for the regional government-run emergency coordination centre said in a tweet: “There has been an explosion in Ayala Street.

“Firefighters, paramedics and police are working in the area. Avoid the area to facilitate the movement of vehicles.

A field hospital was set up in the area, with initial reports pointing to emergency responders treating six people for injuries.

The explosion was reported to have happened on a rooftop terrace where building work was going on.

Footage from the scene showed shocked locals leaving an area covered by a huge plume of white smoke.

In January last year an explosion occurred in a building in Madrid which caused it to partially collapse.

It killed four people and wounded ten others.

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