At least 13 dead in Spanish nightclub fire

At least 13 people were killed in a fire in a Spanish nightclub on Sunday morning, officials said, with fears the toll could still rise as rescue workers sift through the debris.

The fire appears to have broken out in a building housing the "Teatre" and "Fonda Milagros" clubs in the city of Murcia in southeastern Spain.

"The fire spread from the upper parts of the two clubs, the Teatre disco and the Fonda Milagros disco... which originally were in the same building," said Diego Seral, spokesman for the national police.

Authorities do not yet know where exactly the fire started.

Police have established a list of 15 people missing after the blaze, but Seral said it was not yet final and could contain names of some of the victims already found.

"The Murcia fire brigade... will continue to secure the building for the next few hours. It cannot be ruled out that another body may be located", the emergency services said shortly after 10:00 pm (20:00 GMT).

They warned that there would be "no definitive toll until they have completed their work" scouring the rubble.

The emergency services said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that firefighters were continuing to work at the scene and had not ruled out "the possibility of finding more victims."

Jose Ballesta, mayor of Murcia, said the fire had broken out at around 6:00 am local time (0400 GMT) and had been "extremely serious."

Emergency workers have so far pulled out 13 bodies from the ruins, a task complicated by the risk of the building collapsing, he told journalists.

Three of the victims have been identified by their fingerprints and "the rest of the bodies will have to be identified by DNA," Ballesta said, adding that firefighters dispatched to the scene at 7:00 am were able to extinguish the fire by 8:00 am.

Officials said four people, two women aged 22 and 25 years old and two men in their forties, were treated for smoke inhalation.

The city's mayor has announced three days of mourning and set up a reception base for relatives of victims. The city's bars and restaurants will remain closed Sunday as a mark of respect to the victims, said Hoytu, the local hotel-restaurant association.

In 2017, 40 people were injured in a packed nightclub on Spain's holiday island of Tenerife when a floor collapsed. The injured included people from a variety of countries including France, Britain, Romania and Belgium.

And in 1990, 43 people died in a fire at a nightclub in Spain's northeastern city of Zaragoza.

(Source: AFP)

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