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4 dead as fire ravages residential block in Spain’s Valencia

At least four people have died in a huge fire that gutted a multi-storey apartment block in Spain‘s eastern port city of Valencia, with another 14 people injured.
The toll could rise, with 19 people missing, a source on the city council who asked not to be named told AFP.
The fire began around 5:30 pm on Thursday on the fourth floor and spread rapidly, witnesses and the emergency services said, with images showing flames and vast clouds of black smoke engulfing the building in the Campanar neighbourhood in western Valencia.
“It can be confirmed that four people have died,” Jorge Suarez Torres, deputy director of emergency services for the Valencia region, told reporters.
Fourteen people had been treated for injuries of varying degrees, including a seven-year-old child, and 12 of them were transferred to hospitals, according to emergency services.
Spain’s TVE public television said there were more than 130 flats in the 14-storey building which was rapidly “reduced to a skeleton”, with 22 teams of firefighters battling the blaze.

Speaking to regional television station A Punt, Esther Puchades, deputy head of Valencia’s Industrial Engineers Association (COGITI) said the fire had spread so rapidly because the building was covered with highly flammable polyurethane cladding.
Footage on social media that was reposted by Spanish media outlets showed a father and daughter being rescued from a balcony where they were trapped.
“Please stay away from the area of the fire to let the emergency services do their work,” Valencia’s Mayor Maria Jose Catala urged on social media platform X.
Writing on X, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he was “shocked by the terrible fire” and was in contact with the mayor and the region’s leader “to offer whatever help needed” and extending his condolences to everyone affected by the blaze.
( Source AFP)

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