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Lethal hearth in Spain’s southern metropolis of Valencia has grim echoes of London Grenfell Tower catastrophe

Lethal hearth in Spain’s southern metropolis of Valencia has grim echoes of London Grenfell Tower catastrophe


Valencia, Spain — At the very least 4 folks died in an enormous hearth that ripped by means of a 14-storey condo block in Valencia, jap Spain, and not less than 14 have been reported lacking, with officers warning on Friday that the dying toll may rise. Consultants stated the constructing, which contained 138 flats, was coated with extremely flammable cladding, which may account for the speedy unfold of the blaze after it broke out on the fourth flooring early Thursday night.

Dramatic pictures confirmed clouds of black smoke because the flames consumed the high-rise within the western Campanar neighborhood of the port metropolis.

Blaze Ravages Valencia Apartment Complex In Spain
A big hearth swept by means of two buildings within the Campanar neighborhood of Valencia, Spain, Feb. 22, 2024.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty


“4 folks have died,” Jorge Suarez Torres, deputy director of emergency providers for the Valencia area, informed reporters in a single day.

“As of now, now we have 14 individuals who stay untraced,” regional administrator Pilar Bernabe added on Friday, stressing that the quantity may change.

Valencia Mayor Maria Jose Catala had stated between 9 and 15 folks have been unaccounted for, primarily based on data supplied by police and neighbors..

Fifteen folks have been handled for accidents of various levels, together with a seven-year-old baby and 7 firefighters. Six of the 15 have been nonetheless hospitalized on Friday however their lives weren’t in peril, regional governor Carlos Mazon stated.

Officers stated 22 groups of firefighters had been known as in to battle the blaze. Suarez Torres stated that they had not but managed to get into the constructing.

SPAIN-FIRE
Firefighters examine the aftermath of an enormous hearth that raged by means of a multi-story residential constructing in Valencia, Spain, killing not less than 4 folks, Feb. 23, 2024. 

JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty


“We’re making an attempt to chill the facade. That is our purpose over the subsequent few hours,” he stated. “We won’t say once we’ll have the ability to get inside.”

Spanish media stated rescue staff had used drones to find the our bodies of those that perished.

A preventable tragedy?

Esther Puchades, deputy head of Valencia’s Industrial Engineers Affiliation (COGITI), informed native media the hearth had unfold so quickly as a result of the constructing was coated with extremely flamable polyurethane cladding.

Luis Ibanez, who lives close by, informed TVE he had seemed out of a window and seen the flames engulfing the constructing “inside a matter of minutes”.

“(It was) as if it was manufactured from cork,” he stated. “I could not imagine what I used to be seeing. The entire aspect of the constructing straight reverse was on hearth, from the primary flooring to the sixth and seventh flooring.”

The fears of polyurethane cladding exacerbating the Valencia hearth recalled the 2017 tragedy at London’s Grenfell Tower. In that incident, a hearth on the 24-storey high-rise in west London killed 72 folks. The blaze unfold quickly as a result of extremely flamable cladding on the block’s outdoors partitions.

A public inquiry into the London catastrophe has but to publish its closing report, but it surely has already revealed how a few of the corporations that manufactured the supplies used within the cladding on Grenfell continued to market their merchandise as protected regardless of some staff realizing they have been flammable.


U.Okay. faces housing disaster after lethal Grenfell Tower hearth

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Amongst these corporations was the American agency Arconic, which made the cladding on Grenfell Tower, by means of a French subsidiary.

Emails shared with the British inquiry confirmed that some Arconic staff knew of the hazard of fireplace posed by the kind of cladding used on Grenfell, however that the corporate continued to promote it anyway.

Arconic stated quickly after the blaze that it might cease making its Reynobond PE panels obtainable for high-rise buildings, because it couldn’t management how or on what constructing they have been put in.

“Cladding programs include numerous elements chosen and put collectively by architects, contractors, fabricators and constructing house owners, and people events are liable for making certain that the cladding programs are compliant below the suitable codes and laws,” the corporate stated in a 2017 information launch.

It was not instantly clear what firm manufactured the cladding used on the Spanish condo constructing.

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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