HomeEuropeSeveral dead in building fire in Spanish city of Valencia

Several dead in building fire in Spanish city of Valencia

Several dead in building fire in Spanish city of Valencia

Valencia, SPAIN (EFE) – Emergency services have so far found four bodies in the residential buildings that caught fire on Thursday in the Spanish city of Valencia and are searching for 19 missing people.

The deputy director general of Valencia’s emergency services, Jorge Suarez, announced the discovery of the bodies in a press conference from the command post next to the still-burning buildings.

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The emergency teams working on the two towers are searching for 19 people who are missing since the start of the fire, according to the city council.

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View of the fire declared on Feb. 22, 2024 around 5:30 this afternoon on a fifth floor of a residential building in Valencia that has totally affected the building and has spread to another annex. EFE/ Kai Fösterling

Firefighters had to rescue affected neighbors from balconies after the fire was reported on the fifth floor of a fourteen-story residential building around 5:30 pm local time and then spread to another annex.

The number of people injured remains unchanged at 14, of which 6 are firefighters and the rest civilians, the Information and Emergency Coordination Center reported.

The emergency services have assisted nine men between 25 and 57 years old, four women between 27 and 81 years old, and a minor of 7 years old.

Except two women who were discharged “in situ,” the rest were transferred to different hospitals in Valencia, according to the same sources.

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Photo of the fire declared around half past five in the afternoon on February 22, 2024 on a fifth floor of a residential building in Valencia that has completely affected the property and has spread to another annex, and firefighters are still trying to rescue neighbors from balconies. EFE/Manuel Bruque

After the press asked Suarez if the building could collapse, he replied that the main priority right now is to ensure safety. However, he admitted that the fire has been burning for several hours at very high temperatures.

He also pointed out that it is unknown when they will be able to access the interior and that they are working with the relatives of a missing resident.

The mayor of Valencia, María José Catalá, sent her regards to the relatives of the victims and announced that on Friday the City Council will declare several days of official mourning.

“The firefighters are doing everything they can, but so far this is all the information they can provide,” the mayor said.

Without knowing the causes of the fire, witnesses told EFE that the flames spread “very quickly” in a very short time and formed “a brutal cloud of smoke that practically turned the day into night.”

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The President of the Generalitat Valenciana, Carlos Mazón (c), and the mayor of the city, María José Catalá (d), during the fire declared on February 22, 2024 around 5:30 pm on a fifth floor of a residential building in València. EFE/Manuel Bruque

The vice-president of the Valencia College of Industrial and Technical Engineers, Esther Puchades, who inspected the building, attributed the fire’s ferocity to the polyurethane coating on the facade.

The wind in the city, with gusts of between 50 and 60 kilometers per hour at the time, may have contributed to the spread of the flames.

The Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, expressed his dismay at the devastating fire and offered “all the help he can provide.”

On his X account, Sanchez said he had spoken with local authorities to get a first-hand account of the situation and to offer any assistance needed.

“I would like to express my solidarity to all those affected and my appreciation to all the emergency forces already on the scene,” the Spanish prime minister wrote. EFE

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