Building collapses in central Madrid explosion, several injured

Clay Curtis
January 21, 2021

Aerial footage released by police appeared to show that the top four or five floors had been completely blown out, with the blast also bringing down the wall of a building in Puerta de Toledo square, some 50 metres (165 feet) away, he said.

At least two people were killed and several others injured when a strong explosion on Wednesday rocked a building located in the Spanish capital, witnesses and worldwide media said, with images from local television and the emergency services showing the street covered in debris.

Madrid Mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida told reporters at the scene it seemed that "there was a gas explosion in the building".

"Unfortunately we are mourning the death of several people in the explosion on Calle Toledo", tweeted Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, offering his condolences to the families of the dead and the injured. A witness told Telemadrid that there was at least one person trapped inside.

The school nearby the site of the blast was empty, according to TVE, because classes had not resumed yet following a record snowfall in the Spanish capital on January 9.

Building collapses in central Madrid explosion, several injured: Report

A police spokeswoman said the area was being evacuated but could not confirm the source of the explosion.

A tower of smoke rose from the building, where repairs were being done to a gas boiler, and billowed through Toledo Street, near the city's center. "We were terrified when we saw the amount of smoke coming out of the church's building", the 20-year-old Madrid resident told The Associated Press. "I heard and felt the explosion but didn't know where it came from", said local Isabel Romero, whose eight-year-old son is a student at a school next to the building where the explosion occurred. We all thought it was from the school.

It is believed that the building housed offices and meeting rooms.

The nearby nursing home was evacuated, although no injuries have been reported among the residents.

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