24 Feb 2024, 18:08

Spain apartment block inferno toll rises to 10

VALENCIA, Spain, Feb 24, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Spanish rescue teams on Saturday found a tenth body at an apartment block ravaged by an inferno which erupted two days ago in the eastern port city of Valencia.

"This morning ... a new body was found," the regional authorities in Valencia said. "The number of bodies found inside the building has risen to 10."

The fire erupted at the 14-storey tower block on Thursday afternoon and spread rapidly through the high-rise of 138 flats.

Fifteen people were treated for injuries of varying degrees, including a seven-year-old child and seven firefighters, but their lives were not in danger.

Faustino Yanguas of the Valencia fire brigade said the cladding material used on the facade of the building would have to be investigated.

It was, he said, "a factor that contributed a lot" to the lightning spread of the flames -- as were the strong winds, with gusts of up to 60 kilometres (40 miles) per hour at the time the blaze broke out.

The fears that polyurethane cladding might have exacerbated the Valencia fire recalled the 2017 tragedy at London's Grenfell Tower, when 72 people died when the 24-storey high-rise caught fire.

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