Four dead, TWENTY more feared killed as inferno tears through cladding on 14-storey Spanish block of flats


The death toll is expected to climb today after a 14-storey tower block in Spain was gutted by an uncontrollable inferno, with experts blaming its flammable cladding in a tragedy reminiscent of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Death Toll

At least four people were confirmed killed last night and a further 20 were missing, feared dead, despite the heroic efforts of firefighters who braved the raging fire to haul trapped residents from their balconies.

The apartment block in Valencia caught fire at around 5.30pm on Thursday, trapping some of the 350 residents in the complex in their homes before it continued to rage on into the early hours of Friday morning.

At The Scene

Dramatic footage shows a man jumping several floors onto an inflatable mat to escape the raging fire, while other homeowners were seen awaiting rescue on their terraces as the flames closed in around them.

One couple, seen in footage being hauled to safety by firefighters, were later pictured being taken for treatment by emergency workers, seemingly not too badly hurt. 

Witnesses described how the fire saw the entire block burned to the ground ‘like cork’, with the flames spreading ‘in a matter of minutes’ and moving through the main tower and then into an adjoining building, reducing the structure to a ‘skeleton’.

Why The Fire Spread So Fast

The apartment block, in the Campanar area of the port city, was covered with highly-flammable polyurethane cladding, which experts have blamed for its rapid destruction. 

The material is legal but no longer widely used after it was linked to the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, with an inquiry into the disaster being told that polyurethane and other combustible materials had been used in the building.

2017 Grenfell Tower fire

If cladding is to blame in this case, it could be the first fire of its kind in Spain, according to an engineer who previously surveyed the building. 

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20 Feared Killed

Firefighters said last night that they do not expect any of those who were missing to have survived.

Town hall officials had earlier said 19 people were unaccounted for but the number later rose to 20.

The official death toll is not expected to rise until later today when fire crews and other emergency responders are able to access the inside of the apartment block.

Jorge Suarez, sub-director of emergencies for the regional Valencian government, said last night that 14 people including at least six firefighters had been injured in the blaze.

Confirming fears there would be fatalities, he said: ‘We have to confirm the worst of the hypotheses that were on the table.

‘Four people have died. We can now confirm that but we can’t give out any more information at the moment.

‘Firefighters are still working exclusively outside the building on tasks related to extinguishing the blaze.

‘The characteristics of the building make it impossible to carry out any such work inside the structure so the work being done at the moment is focused on cooling down the outside and that’s going to be the focus over the next few hours.

‘I can’t say at the moment when they’re going to be able to go inside the building.’

Confirming earlier reports firefighters had sighted four bodies after they put up a drone, he added: ‘The information on the four fatalities is based on visual information we have.’

Number of Injured People

Authorities confirmed that 14 people had been injured, among them nine men aged between 25 and 57, four women aged between 27 and 81, and a seven-year-old boy.

Twelve of them are understood to remain in hospital, as of midnight last night.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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