Valencia Fire ravages two skyscrapers in Valencia leaving at least

Valencia: Fire ravages two skyscrapers in Valencia, leaving at least four charred dead News

Four unidentified victims have been confirmed and at least between 9 and 14 people have still not been found, according to the latest preliminary assessment made this morning by the mayor, Maria José Català, from the emergency room near the 14-story building that passed through the horror was reduced to a skeleton yesterday afternoon's fire.

Of the 14 injured, only six remain in hospital, including five firefighters, for burns or fractures they sustained while trying to rescue residents of the two-block apartment complex. Català reported that a psychological assistance center was set up in the front command post for the families of the disappeared, while a second one was set up in the center of La Tabacalera to help evacuated families. 36 of the residents of the two blocks remain accommodated in the hotels.

Video Spain, fire ravages two buildings in Valencia: at least 4 dead

The flames broke out for reasons that are still unclear at 5:30 p.m. on the eighth floor, quickly spread along the vertical of the skyscraper due to the strong westerly wind and high temperatures of 25 degrees, and also spread to Tower 2 in the same block from the residential complex, in of which around 350 people live in 140 apartments.

Numerous residents, including a father with his daughter and a couple, who were trapped on the balconies of the upper floors of the building for a long time, were brought to safety by the fire department, which rushed to the scene with dozens of teams. while a hospital was set up to provide storage and dispatch mobile units for burns and resuscitation efforts. Firefighters have not yet inspected the interior of the building, which is in danger of collapsing.

The 112 rescue services are taking advantage of the cooperation of the Ume, the army's military unit, which sent a caravan of vehicles from Madrid to control the flames and secure the two towers. The statements from the residents of the luxury residential complex in one of the city's expansion areas, a 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, desperately searching for their relatives and told by firefighters to put wet clothes under the doors to try to block the flames and smoke,” Vicente said in an interview with the national television channel RTVE.

“We are surprised at the speed with which the flames spread. An hour later the fire also reached Tower 2, there are still many people inside,” said Adriana Banu, the manager of the complex, shocked and in tears. told local media Levante. According to an initial reconstruction by the fire department, the insulation materials of the buildings built 15 years ago would have facilitated the rapid development of the fire, even without the fire protection systems being 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 voraciousness of the flames to the coating of a layer of polyurethane between the aluminum panels that covered the facade, a “It was a “light “flammable” product that caused the flames to spread throughout the building in less than half an hour,” he told Valencian TV A' Punt.

According to the expert, the fire will represent a “before and after” in Spain, where there has never been an incident of such dramatic proportions. After the Grenfell skyscraper fire in London in 2017, which claimed dozens of lives, some countries, including Great Britain, banned polyurethane in facade construction, but not Spain, where this was particularly the case during the property boom of 2000-2009 dating back to the construction of the two towers of Valencia would have been widespread.

And “it’s still like that, albeit insulated with fire barriers” to prevent the fire from spreading in the event of a fire. According to Puchades, following today's fire in Spain, where there has never been a fire of this magnitude, legislation could be revised to ban the use of polyurethane in building cladding. Meanwhile, during the night in Valencia, a solidarity competition took place among citizens to redistribute the evacuated families, all of whom were housed, including in hotels and reception centers, after losing everything in the tragic fire.

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