Six elderly residents die in nursing home fire in eastern Spain

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Six elderly residents have died after a fire broke out at a nursing home in eastern Spain near the city of Valencia.

Seventeen other people were hospitalised — including three in a serious condition — authorities have said.

Emergency services chief José Basset told Spanish news agency EFE that the fire appears to have started in a bedroom on the second floor late on Tuesday.

“There was a large number of people asking for help who were trapped by the smoke” when firefighters arrived, Basset said.

Firefighters reported that a total of 70 residents were evacuated from the nursing home in the municipality of Moncada.

Ximo Puig, President of the Valencian Government, said Spain’s Civil Guard police force was investigating the cause of the fire. Investigators believe that the blaze might have started after a short-circuit in a mechanism linked to an oxygen tank.

“The most important thing now is the recovery of those who have been injured,” Puig said.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Twitter that he was following “the tragic news from Moncada”.

“My condolences to the families of the victims. We are watching with concern the evolution of the injured. All our support for the families and the town,” Sanchez said.

Municipal authorities in Moncada have called for three days of mourning, with flags flying at half-staff on the town hall building. Officials also called for a minute of silence at noon local time.

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