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At Least Four Dead, About 14 Injured In Residential Building Fire In Spain

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A massive fire has claimed the lives of at least four individuals in a high-rise residential block in Valencia, Spain, according to emergency services.

The blaze, which originated in the Campanar neighbourhood, engulfed a 14-storey building and quickly spread to an adjacent structure.

Firefighters worked tirelessly to rescue residents as people were saved from balconies. As of now, nineteen individuals remain missing, while at least 14 people, including six firefighters and a young child, have sustained injuries.

The ferocity of the flames was exacerbated by high winds, but suspicions have also arisen regarding the role of highly flammable cladding in the rapid spread of the fire.

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Over 20 fire crews battled the blaze, and by early Friday, the affected block stood as a charred and skeletal structure, prompting authorities to advise the public to stay away from the area.

The residential building, comprising 138 flats and housing 450 residents, has become the centre of scrutiny. Reports from El Pais, citing the building’s manager, reveal the extent of the tragedy. Firefighters, utilizing cranes, rescued several residents, including a couple residing on the seventh floor.

In the aftermath of the devastating fire, questions are emerging in Spain regarding the construction materials used in the building. Esther Puchades, vice president of the College of Industrial Technical Engineers of Valencia, voiced concerns over the exterior featuring a polyurethane material, which is no longer widely used due to flammability fears.

Residents are also coming forward with their observations. A resident on the second floor told La Sexta that the flames rapidly intensified, possibly due to materials on the building’s facade.

Engineer David Higuera suggested that the cladding may have played a pivotal role in the fire’s swift progression, emphasizing the combustibility of the aluminium plates with foam insulation used in the building’s outer layer.

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The fire broke out at approximately 17:30 local time, prompting a swift response from firefighters. A field hospital has been established in the vicinity, and authorities have assured that displaced individuals will be accommodated in hotels.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed his distress on social media, stating, “Dismayed by the terrible fire in a building in Valencia… I want to convey my solidarity to all the people affected and recognition to all the emergency personnel already deployed at the scene.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi



Source link: Arise News/

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