A powerful explosion apparently caused by a gas leak ripped the facade off a residential building in central Madrid on Wednesday, killing four people and injuring at least eleven more, according to the mayor.
The first images and footage shared on social media showed a tower of smoke coming out from the six-story building and rubble scattered in Toledo Street, near the city centre. Emergency crews could be seen aiding several people on the ground.
At least four floors have been impacted by the explosion and firefighters are evacuating people from the area, the service said.The building could be at risk of collapse, Mayor José Luis Martínez Almeida told journalists. “Various people are being treated, (for injuries) of various severity,” he said.
Aerial footage shared by Spain’s National Police showed rubble covering a nearby schoolyard — though Madrid’s mayor said no one was seriously injured at the school.
All students and staff were inside the school buildings at the time of the blast.
The Spanish government’s representative for the Madrid region, José Manuel Franco, confirmed three casualties and the Catholic parish that owned the damaged building said the fourth victim was an electrician, a father of four, who was working on the boiler and had initially been considered missing.