Spain | Valencia reflects after deadly building fire

(Valencia) In shock since the fire which ravaged a residential building on Thursday, the Spanish city of Valencia (East) paid tribute on Saturday to the victims of this tragedy which killed ten people and shook the country.

The authorities, who located a tenth body in the rubble on Saturday, are continuing their search but do not expect to find any other victims.

“There are no words to describe the pain this city is feeling right now. All Valencians are united in pain,” declared the mayor of Spain’s third city, María José Catalá, before five minutes of silence were observed in front of the town hall.


Valencia Mayor Maria Jose Catala hugs a resident of the building destroyed by the fire.

Hundreds of people gathered for the tribute, some bursting into tears, others wearing dark glasses. Their faces marked by exhaustion and shock, the relatives of the victims were supported by elected officials.

“It’s a horrible thing,” Concha López, a 60-year-old employee in a printing company who lives in the neighborhood where the building caught fire, told AFP.

“Losing everything like this and finding yourself on the street. There are no words, no one should go through this,” said Adrián Sobrino Moral, a 33-year-old worker.

This fire, one of the most tragic in Spain in recent years, shocked the country and left hundreds of people homeless.

“In a few minutes, we lost everything. And now I have nothing left, except what I’m wearing,” laments José Carlos Perez, 53, wearing worn sweatpants and a sweater.

“I have nothing left and I have to start again,” summarizes this retired banker, who was at home, in his apartment on the twelfth floor, when the fire broke out.


The population of Valencia and the authorities mobilized to help the affected residents. Aid was announced while an army of volunteers distributed clothes, shoes, toys, hygiene products, etc.

No other victims a priori

The disaster, which broke out on Thursday around 5:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. Eastern time) on an intermediate floor, spread at lightning speed throughout this fourteen-story building with 138 apartments.

On Saturday, a tenth body was found in the rubble of the building.


“This morning’s inspection by the scientific brigade of the National Police resulted in the location of a new body […] The total number of bodies found inside the building is ten,” declared the prefecture of the Valencia region on the social network X.

Speaking to the press, the prefect of the region Pilar Bernabé indicated for her part that the search would continue but that a priori, the number of bodies found corresponded to that of the people missing.

“The inspections will continue for as long as necessary, until we have combed the entire building, but today I think we can say that the number of victims found corresponds to the number of people who were unlocated,” she said.

“We do not think we will find any other victims in principle,” added a Valencia fire official, Enrique Gisbert.

The toll from the fire will therefore be less heavy than what the authorities initially feared.

Friday morning, when the provisional toll of this disaster was four deaths, Pilar Bernabé had in fact mentioned 14 missing. The mayor of the city spoke of 9 to 15 missing.

The authorities will now be able to begin work to identify the victims found. “This will be a complex job during which we will have to identify [les victimes] with DNA tests,” said Pilar Bernabé.

source site-59