An explosion has rocked a building in the centre of Madrid this Friday afternoon, 6 May. Eighteen people were injured, one seriously, and two workers were reported missing. Emergency services set up a field hospital at the scene to treat the injured. After more than five hours of searching, the rescue teams located the bodies of the two workers trapped under the rubble
The blast was reported at around 1.30pm at a building on Calle General Pardiñas street, in the centre of city. Some 18 injured people were recorded, one of them serious with polytrauma, and four of them were transferred to hospitals, according to Carmen Camacho, deputy director general of SAMUR Madrid.
The explosion happened on the fourth floor of the building, but also affected the first three floors. Gemma Martín, spokesperson for Emergencias Madrid, said that most of the injured were inside the building at the time. Firefighters searched the building with the help of dogs and with great care, as the extent of the structural damage was unknown, although the fire brigade confirmed that "it was very unstable."
Adjoining buildings were evacuated and are also being inspected. The municipal police force worked with several drones and providing images to firefighters to help them in the search for the missing people.
The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez Almeida, said at the scene that the man who is in serious condition "was lifted into the air by the force of the explosion and fell into a courtyard located between Calle General Pardiñas and Ayala”. The individual is a 84-year-old man, who is in the intensive care unit of a Madrid hospital.