News

Two young parents among three killed in Spain apartment collapse

By AFP

February 7, 2024 07:57 PM


 

The bodies of three people, two of them parents of young children, were found after the internal collapse of a block of flats near Barcelona, officials said Wednesday following an all-night search of the rubble.

"We have located three lifeless bodies in the collapsed building in Badalona, which are awaiting identification," the regional fire service wrote on X, almost 24 hours after the inner section of the five-storey block collapsed.

Xavier Garcia Albiol, mayor of Badalona, a seaside town just north of Barcelona, said the bodies were a man and two women, one of whom was a single mother of young children.

"We're talking about a woman from a country in eastern Europe with two very young daughters who are now on their own," he told TVE public television.

The alarm was raised at midday on Tuesday when nobody turned up at school to collect the girls, he added.

Another victim was a man of about 30 who had very recently become a father whose partner had left with the baby half an hour before the building collapsed.

The third was a woman in her 50s, the mayor said.

Badalona city hall declared three days of mourning for the victims. People will gather for five minutes of silence outside of city hall at 5:30 pm (1630 GMT) in memory of the deceased.

The incident occurred around 10:30 am when the block suffered a so-called pancake collapse, a type of partial collapse when the floors fall successively onto the other, with public television saying it started when the attic roof caved in.

Footage from the roof released by the fire service showed a gaping hole running all the way to the ground floor.

The fire service said they were working to manually clear 60 cubic metres of rubble from the site, with 19 teams working through the night accompanied by sniffer dogs to find the missing residents.

In a posting on X, formerly Twitter, Badalona city council declared three days of mourning and said it would observe five minutes of silence at 5.30 pm in the main square.

Local media reports said the building, which contained 20 flats, had been constructed in 1959 and had recently passed a safety check.


AFP


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