Two dead after explosion rips through building in Madrid

James Badcock
·1 min read
Smoke rises from a building and rubble scattered in Toledo Street following a explosion in downtown Madrid - Europa Press 
Smoke rises from a building and rubble scattered in Toledo Street following a explosion in downtown Madrid - Europa Press

At least two people have died after an explosion ripped through a building in central Madrid on Wednesday afternoon.

Madrid Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida announced the deaths from the scene about one hour after the blast hit at around 3pm.

The explosion destroyed the top four floors of a building situated in Calle Toledo, in the Spanish capital’s historic quarter.

the scene of the explosion  -  Anadolu Agency
the scene of the explosion - Anadolu Agency
Firefighters work after the explosion in the downtown of the Spanish capital - Reuters
Firefighters work after the explosion in the downtown of the Spanish capital - Reuters
Wreckage lines the Madrid street as firefighters deal with explosion's aftermath - AP
Wreckage lines the Madrid street as firefighters deal with explosion's aftermath - AP

Mr Martínez-Almeida said the cause was not confirmed, but it is suspected to have been due to a gas leak.

Emergency services have cordoned off the area and television images showed several people being treated for injuries.

Elderly residents of a care home situated next door to the building affected were being evacuated as a precaution.

A spokesman for the Los Nogales La Paloma care home said that "no resident or employee has been injured."

"They are evacuating all residents to the hotel across the street," he added.

Photographs taken by residents of the area show the building’s top four floors reduced to a shell and a large amount of rubble in the surrounding area, including the playground of a primary school on one side of the stricken building. Fortunately, the playground was not being used at the time of the explosion.