OAN’s Brooke Mallory
1:32 PM – Sunday, October 1, 2023
There have been at least 13 fatalities in Spain’s worst nightclub fire in decades, and there are concerns that there may be even more deaths as rescue personnel search for additional bodies.
The early-morning 6 a.m. Sunday fire at the Teatre venue in Murcia, Spain, is still under investigation. The cause of the fire is unknown.
However, Maria Dolores Albellan, a spokeswoman for the Teatre nightclub, told reporters that the fire began at the nearby Fonda Milagros club before spreading to the two adjacent establishments.
According to an emergency services website for the city, two men, ages 41 and 45, and two women, ages 22 and 25, were also hospitalized after suffering severe smoke inhalation-related injuries.
As rescue personnel carried out their work, survivors gathered outside the nightclub and explained the incident to reporters.
“I think we left (the club) 30 seconds – 1 minute before the alarms went off and all the lights went out the screams saying there was a fire. I was at place at that time where I could get out, but five family members and two friends are missing,” an unidentified survivor told the press.
“We don’t know anything, we are waiting for news to see whether some of our family members have come out alive,” another man said who was at the scene of the incident.
Pedro Sanchez, the prime minister of Spain, expressed his condolences.
“My love and solidarity with the victims and families of the tragic fire that occurred this morning in a nightclub in Murcia. I have just conveyed to the president of the Murcia region all our support and collaboration,” said Sanchez on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
Emergency personnel immediately arrived at the scene, and local firemen requested helicopter assistance to combat the flames.
“The General Director of Security and Emergencies, Ricardo Villalba, is on-site coordinating with the Murcia City Council the necessary means to manage this tragedy,” Spanish emergency services stated. “The Vice President and Minister of the Interior, Emergencies and Territorial Planning, Jose Ángel Antelo, is expected to arrive at the site,” they added.
The nightclub fire in Murcia is Spain’s worst in 33 years. In 1990, a nightclub fire in northern Zaragoza claimed 43 lives.
81 people had also perished in a nightclub fire in Madrid in December 1983 as a result of smoke, a lighting system malfunction, and a faulty emergency exit.
Murcia’s mayor, José Ballesta, said on X that the city has officially established three days of mourning for “those who died in the fire that occurred at the Teatre de Atalayas nightclub.”
In the neighboring Palacio de los Deportes, a sports arena in Murcia, a team of psychologists will be entrusted with providing support as a sort of resource center for victims’ families.
This is a developing story.
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