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Fire engulfs high-rise building in Spain

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-23 04:30
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Emergency services work at the scene of a fire of apartment building in Valencia, Spain on  Feb 22. [Photo/Agencies]

MADRID -- Fire engulfed a 14-story residential block in Valencia of eastern Spain on Thursday and rescue work is still going on, local media reported.

No death has been confirmed so far, but at least seven people suffered minor injuries or smoke inhalation, including a fireman with a broken wrist. There are fears that some people might have been trapped inside the building.

It is unknown how the fire had started at around 5:30 pm local time. Witnesses said gales sweeping at 60 kilometers per hour made the flames spread incredibly fast, causing almost the entire building to be enveloped in flames within 30 minutes.

"Half an hour later, the entire building was in flames," Carlos Jorro, a local resident, said on Spanish TV network, "La Sexta."

Firemen from the neighboring regions of Castellon and Alicante, as well as members of Spain's Military Emergency Unit, have all been mobilized to combat the fire.

The disaster was broadcast live on several Spanish TV networks, with footages showing a resident jumping off the balcony on the first-floor onto an inflatable cushion placed by the fire brigade.

A father and his daughter, trapped on their balcony on the seventh-floor, were saved by rescuers using an extendable crane with a basket.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez published a tweet Thursday evening, saying he was "shocked by the terrible fire in a building in Valencia" and had spoken to the chief of the Valencia region and the city's mayor.

"I want to give my solidarity to all of the people who have been affected and acknowledge the work of the emergency workers, who are working in the area," he said.

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