People feared trapped in Spain high-rise fire

People feared trapped in Spain high-rise fire
# 23 February 2024 05:17 (UTC +04:00)

A high-rise residential building in the Spanish city of Valencia has been engulfed by a major fire, APA reports citing BBC.

The blaze - which is ongoing - occurred at a 14-storey block in the Campanar neighbourhood and spread to an adjoining building.

Firefighters have been seen rescuing people from balconies, and local media reports others may be trapped inside.

At least 13 people, including six firefighters, have been injured.

More than 20 fire crews are tackling the fire and people have been urged to stay away from the area.

The building contains 138 flats home to 450 residents, El Pais reported citing the building's manager.

Local reports said firefighters had rescued several residents using cranes, including a couple living on the seventh floor.

One man who lives on the second floor of the building told TV channel La Sexta that the flames grew rapidly after the fire started, reportedly on the fourth floor.

"The fire spread in a matter of 10 minutes," he said, adding that material on the facade of the building may have caused the fire to spread.

David Higuera, an engineer, told El País the building's cladding may have been the cause of the rapid spread of the fire.

The aluminium plates with an foam insulator making up the outer layer of the building are "very good at insulating against heat and cold, but very combustible," he said.

One woman told TVE she had seen firefighters attempting to rescue a teenage boy trapped on the building's first floor.

Firefighters were called at around 17:30 local time. A field hospital has been set up in the area, RTVE reported. People displaced from their homes would be housed in hotels, authorities said.

Writing on X (formerly known as Twitter) Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said: "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."