International News

At least three killed in Madrid city center explosion


At least three people have been killed in Madrid when a building partially collapsed following a massive explosion on Wednesday, 20 January, caused by a gas leak.

A fourth person was missing and several others were hurt, officials said.

The blast happened shortly before 15:00 local time (14:00 GMT) as gas workers were repairing a boiler at the back of the building in the central Puerta de Toledo area of Madrid.

An 85-year-old woman passer-by and two men were killed while a third man who had been working on the boiler was missing, Spanish media EL pias reported. One of the injured was in a serious condition and taken to hospital, according to officials.

Spanish reports said the upper floors affected were being used to house local priests.

Rescue workers evacuated more than 50 people from a care home next-door to the building in Caille de Toledo, but a school on the other side was closed at the time of the blast.

Four floors of the building were destroyed in the explosion, which could be heard in many areas of Madrid. Images shared on social media showed billowing smoke and debris strewn along the street.

Emergency services said nine fire crews and 11 ambulances were at the scene and some of those caught up in the blast were treated on the street.

Police officers cleared the area, closing it to all traffic and pedestrians, and appealed to local residents not to come near.

The director of the nursing home, Antonio Berlanga, said all the elderly residents were fine and places were being found for them to spend the night.



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