1709651377 Relatives of those killed in Murcia nightclub fire file lawsuit

Relatives of those killed in Murcia nightclub fire file lawsuit against two city councilors and three civil servants | Spain

Relatives of those killed in Murcia nightclub fire file lawsuit

The relatives of two of the 13 people who died on October 1 in the fire that destroyed two nightclubs in Murcia filed a complaint this Tuesday against the current urban planning councilor Antonio Navarro (PP) and his predecessor in that position, Andres Guerrero, submitted. PSOE) and three city council officials. They are blamed for the tragedy because they allowed the damaged nightclubs to remain open for years despite numerous safety deficiencies and a curfew in force. The lawyer who represents them, José Manuel Muñoz Ortín, believes that they can be guilty of the crime of subterfuge by omission and goes further: he denounces an “organized conspiracy that has allowed this nightclub to operate since the beginning of its activity to operate continuously and irregularly”. , in the year 2008.

For the lawyer, who held a press conference accompanied by his clients, the entire administrative file of the nightclubs, which consists of around 1,800 pages, is littered with irregularities that have persisted over time and that had to be made known and even promoted by the party two city councilors (Navarro was between 2015 and 2021 and again from the May 2023 local elections, while Guerrero held it from March 2021 until the May 2023 elections), and also by the three officials against whom the complaint is directed: the technical service inspector for works and activities, the head of the civil defense and fire protection service and the head of the intervention service.

In total, around twenty resolutions were passed between the nightclub's application in 2005 and the day of the fire, October 1, 2023, three of which were orders to suspend and cease activity and another four requests to initiate legalization procedures. “The peculiarity of this case is that an activity was maintained through legalization procedures. When there was a complaint from the local police, when an irregularity was detected in the security protocols, when a sanction was imposed, when closure was ordered… then a legalization procedure was always opened, which later remained without solution. The case was opened to avoid a sanction or suspension, but it never went any further. “We are talking about eternal regularization,” explained the lawyer.

Muñoz Ortín has explained that the law provides for the application of a legalization procedure in the event of an irregularity, but warns that this procedure must be completed and, if this does not happen and expires, as was the case with the nightclubs that burned down, the cessation of the Activities must occur automatically. However, in this case, these and other files were allowed to expire without response and without interrupting activity. In addition, it highlighted the “fraudulent” practice of submitting the same documents to all legalization procedures and repeating claims that had already been previously rejected and were therefore inadmissible.

The administrative file contains various resolutions issued at the request of the local police for non-compliance with security measures or capacities. However, the space was only sanctioned once, with a fine of 250 euros, for failing to notify a change of ownership. The request to split the industrial warehouse in which the two nightclubs were located into two parts was never granted and led to the final closure order being issued, which was never carried out. For the lawyer, this department led to security deficiencies that were decisive in the deaths of the 13 victims of the fire, since the evacuation measures at Fonda Milagros were almost non-existent: the emergency doors did not face the street, but the street of another nightclub, the Teatre , where police trace the origin of the fire. The area of ​​the Fonda box where all the people died had only a single exit, and the escape routes had distances of more than 36 meters, while the maximum length allowed by law is 25 meters. Despite this, the nightclub continued to operate, as did the Teatre, where already in 2017 the file reflects an inspection that found the emergency exits were blocked, a defect that was not remedied and that firefighters recognized on the day of the fire .

This perpetuation of all irregularities over the years is what leads Muñoz Ortín to speak of an “organized conspiracy”. In his opinion, councilor Antonio Navarro “developed regulations that made this administrative operation possible” and his successor Andrés Guerrero, although he issued the last closure order that was still in force at the time of the fire, contained in it a clause that invalidated the order itself made because it meant that the hall could be maintained with a new legalization process. For their part, the three officers also ignored the serious violations that compromised security.

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The Murcia City Council has issued a statement to recall that the same victims have already requested the investigative court number 3, which is investigating the case, to open a separate procedure to clarify these responsibilities, which was rejected by its owner. Muñoz Ortín has indicated that this procedure was requested when the parties did not yet have access to the administrative files and therefore had not been argued with a documentary base that they now have, which is why they decided to re-address this complaint.

So far, in the case opened by the fire, in which 13 possible homicides due to recklessness are being investigated, six people are being investigated: the owner of Fonda Milagros, three people in charge of the Teatre as well as the DJ who organized the party who was detained that night and the owner of the cold fire machine that police believe was the source of the fire.

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