Home » Valencia: fire devours two skyscrapers, at least 10 charred dead – News

Valencia: fire devours two skyscrapers, at least 10 charred dead – News

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Valencia: fire devours two skyscrapers, at least 10 charred dead – News

The death toll from the fire in two buildings in Valencia has risen to ten. “After an initial forensic inspection, with firefighters and emergency technicians, ten bodies were recovered.” Prefect Pilar Bernabé announced this from the emergency coordination center in Valencia.

Four of the ten bodies located by the emergency teams are those of a single family: a young couple with their children aged 3 years and 2 weeks who were missing, as confirmed by the municipal police, cited by El Pais.

Of the 14 injured, only six remain hospitalized, including 5 firefighters, for burns or fractures sustained while attempting to rescue the residents of the two-block housing complex. Català reported that a psychological assistance point for the families of the disappeared has been set up in the forward command post, while a second for assistance to evacuated families has been set up in the center of La Tabacalera. 36 of the residents of the two blocks remain hosted in the hotels.

“The priority is now the search for victims and without a doubt trying to safeguard the safety of public servants” involved in the emergency services, said the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, in statements to reporters from the ‘ground zero’ of the Valencia fire , after a meeting with the technicians and the Emergency Coordination Center.

“On behalf of the government of Spain and the whole of Spanish society, I want to express solidarity, empathy and affection to the families of the victims of this terrible fire,” Sanchez said. The prime minister thanked the emergency teams, the firefighters, the army unit, the national and local police and the Red Cross for their work for “the fundamental assistance to the families who are experiencing anguish in this terrible tragedy of having lost everything in the fire.”

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Video Spain, fire devours two buildings in Valencia: at least 10 dead

The teams of traffic police have not yet been able to enter the 14-storey tower 1, reduced by the flames to a smoking skeleton and at risk of collapse. Also in action since yesterday afternoon are the technicians of Ume, the military unit of the army, who together with the firefighters are securing the structure with cranes from the outside and the support of drones, in order to inspect the inside of the building. building in search of victims, who the firefighters do not hope to find alive.

The flames broke out at 5.30pm on the eighth floor for reasons still under investigation, due to the strong westerly wind and the high temperatures of 25 degrees they quickly spread along the vertical of the skyscraper and also extended to tower 2. in the same block of the residential complex, where a total of around 350 people live in 140 apartments.

Numerous residents, including a father with his daughter and a couple, who had been trapped for a long time on the balconies of the upper floors of the building, were brought to safety by the firefighters, who rushed to the scene with dozens of teams, while a hospital was being set up to camp and send mobile burn and resuscitation units. The firefighters have not yet inspected the interior of the building, which risks collapsing.

The 112 emergency services avail themselves of the collaboration of the Ume, the military unit of the army, which sent a caravan of vehicles from Madrid to bring the flames under control and secure the two towers. The testimonies of the residents of the luxury residential complex, in one of the expansion areas of the city, symbol of the real estate boom, are dramatic. “We saw the windows explode from the fire and the temperature became unbearable and we fled outside. But there were still many people inside, screaming desperately looking for their relatives and who were told by the firefighters to put wet clothes under them. the doors to try to block the flames and smoke”, said Vicente, interviewed by national TV RTVE.

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“We are surprised by the speed with which the flames spread, an hour later the fire also reached tower 2, there are still many people inside”, Adriana Banu, the administrator of the complex, said in shock and tears. to the local media Levante. According to an initial reconstruction by the firefighters, the insulating material on the buildings built 15 years ago would have favored the rapid development of the fire, even without the fire prevention systems having been activated.

The vice-president of the Order of Industrial Technical Engineers of Valencia, Esther Pchades, who carried out an assessment of the skyscraper, attributed the voracity of the flames to the coating of a layer of polyurethane between the aluminum plates that covered the facade, a “highly flammable” product , which caused the flames to spread to the entire building in less than half an hour,” he told Valencian TV A’ Punt.

According to the expert, the fire will establish “a before and after” in Spain, where until now no episode of such dramatic proportions had occurred. After the fire in the Grenfell skyscraper in London in 2017, which caused dozens of victims, some countries, including Great Britain, banned polyurethane in facade construction, but not Spain where, especially during the real estate boom of decade 2000-2009, the date in which the construction of the two towers of Valencia dates back, would have been widely used.

And “it still is, although isolated with fire barriers”, to prevent the spread of fire in the event of a fire. According to Puchades, after today’s fire in Spain, where so far no fire of such vast proportions had occurred, the legislation could be revised to ban the use of polyurethane in building cladding. Meanwhile, during the night in Valencia, a solidarity competition among citizens to reallocate the evacuated families who were all hosted, including in hotels and reception facilities, after having lost everything in the tragic fire.

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