Two people killed as ‘gas explosion’ destroys seven-storey building in Madrid
- The severely damaged building is located on Madrid’s central Toledo Street
- Local reports said the explosion occurred at around 2:30 p.m. local time
- The cause is yet to be revealed; initial reports suggested it was a gas explosion
At least two people have died and several have been injured following an explosion at a building in central Madrid.
The top four floors were destroyed in the suspected gas blast around 3pm today.
Madrid’s mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almedia confirmed shortly after the explosion at least two people had died.
‘It appears there has been an explosion in the building. At least two people have died,’ he said. ‘The building is on fire but firefighters say it’s not prudent to enter at the moment.’
The two fatalities have been described as a man and a woman.
Several floors of the building in Madird’s Toledo Street have been affected by the blast, that ripped through the building (pictured) at around 2:30 p.m. local time
Fire fighters work after an explosion in Madrid downtown, Spain January 20
A police officer and medical personnel assist people after an explosion in Madrid downtown, Spain January 20. One person is said to be missing, with a local vicar telling Telemadrid broadcaster that the building belonged to church and that they were trying to find a volunteer
Youngsters at a school near the scene of the blast were unharmed, although parents experienced moments of panic in the aftermath of the explosion in Toledo Street in Madrid’s trendy La Latina neighbourhood as they went to pick children up on their first day back after devastating Storm Filomena.
A hotel opposite the building destroyed by the blast, thought to be church-owned and said to be used as a residence by priests, was also evacuated.
A local vicar told Telemadrid broadcaster that they were trying to find a volunteer in the building.
‘The priests who live on the fifth and sixth floors are fine. We are trying to locate a volunteer who works with us,’ the vicar general told the broadcaster.
Emergency crews could be seen aiding several people on the ground in video aired by Spain’s public broadcaster.
Initial reports described the scene of the blast as an OAP home, but it subsequently emerged it was next door.
It was evacuated but a spokesman insisted none of the residents had been injured.
Emergency services at the scene after six floors have collapsed at the building in Madrid
Madrid’s emergency services said rescue teams, firefighters and police are working in a central area of the Spanish capital following the explosion (pictured)
The cause has not yet been revealed although initial reports said it could be a gas explosion.
A police spokeswoman said the area was being evacuated but could not confirm the source of the explosion.
La Sexta TV quoted government sources saying it may have been a gas leak. Officials could not immediately confirm.
Madrid’s emergency services said rescue teams, firefighters and police are working in a central area of the Spanish capital following the explosion that witnesses described as ‘extremely loud.’
Videos and images shared on social media showed a tower of smoke coming out from a building and rubble scattered in a central street of Madrid.
Leire Reparaz, who lives near the Puerto de Toledo, a local landmark, told The Associated Press that she heard a loud explosion.
‘We didn’t know where the sound came from. We all thought it was from the school. We went up the stairs to the top of our building and we could see the structure of the building and lots of grey smoke,’ the 24-year-old Madrid resident said.
It is believed that the building housed offices and meeting rooms.
More to follow…
Before the explosion: The building pictured in the central area of the Spanish capital