At least eleven people were killed in a fire in a Spanish nightclub on Sunday morning, authorities said, with rescue efforts still ongoing.
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.”
Rescuers said they were first alerted at around 6:00 am local time (0400 GMT) that a fire had broken out in the two-storey nightclub.
They finally managed to enter around 0800 GMT and discovered four bodies, then two others around forty minutes later. An hour later, the Murcia town hall confirmed the toll had risen to seven.
According to photos released by emergency services, the fire broke out in the “Teatre” nightclub, also called “Fonda Milagros”. The photos showed water hoses from fire trucks still spraying the blackened facade of the club.
Thick smoke could be seen billowing from the roof of the building.
A police spokesperson said that a birthday party was being held at the club on Saturday night, and warned that not all the attendees had yet been found.
“According to initial information, the fire broke out on the first floor of the nightclub, which has a ground floor and a first floor,” Diego Seral, the national police spokesman told radio Onda Regional de Murcia.
– Birthday party –
Video footage released by the city’s firefighting brigade shows the firefighters holding a long hose approaching bright orange flames inside the venue, walking between bar tables that still have drinks placed on top of them.
“Emergency services are still hard at work to put out the fire that occurred in the Teatre nightclub,” the city’s town hall said, adding it “deeply regrets” the accident and offering condolences to those affected.
Four others were injured in the blaze, two women aged 22 and 25 years old and two men in their forties, all suffering from smoke inhalation.
The mayor of Murcia, Jose Ballesta, announced three days of mourning.
He said more than 40 firefighters and 12 emergency vehicles were attending the scene.
Forty people were injured in 2017 in a packed nightclub on Spain’s holiday island of Tenerife when a floor collapsed.
The injured were from 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.