Four Dead,14 Missing After Fire Guts Spanish Apartment Block

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AFP 20240223 34JY4NN v4 Preview TopshotSpainFire
Picture shows the aftermath of a huge fire on the building

At least four people died in a huge fire that ripped through a 14-storey apartment block in Valencia, eastern Spain, as about 14 were reported missing, with officials warning on Friday that the death toll could rise.

Experts said the building was covered with highly flammable cladding, which could account for the rapid spread of the blaze after it broke out on the fourth floor.

Images showed clouds of black smoke as the flames consumed the high-rise building of 138 flats in the western Campanar district of the port city.

Valencia mayor Maria Jose Catala had said between nine and 15 people were unaccounted for, based on information provided by police and neighbours, while a city hall source had said that 19 people were unlocated.

Regional governor Carlos Mazon said Fifteen people were treated for injuries of varying degrees, including a seven-year-old child and seven firemen. Mazon added that Six of the 15 were still in hospital, noting that their lives were not in danger.

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