Death toll from Valencia apartment block fire rises to 10

Authorities to continue ‘complex’ work of combing through debris in search of other possible victims

The death toll from a dramatic fire that swept through two residential buildings in the Spanish city of Valencia has risen to 10 after authorities announced they had located the remains of what they believed was the last missing person.

Forensic officers found the 10th victim inside a building, according to Pilar Bernabe, national government delegate in Valencia. Police will proceed with DNA testing to confirm the identities of all the victims, she told journalists.

While there were no other missing people reported, Ms Bernabe stressed that police and firefighters will continue the “complex” work of combing through the debris in search of any other possible victim.

It was not immediately known how many people were in the two buildings when the fire broke out, but the complex had 140 apartments.


The blaze, which appeared to begin in one home on Thursday afternoon, engulfed the rest of the 14-storey apartment block in less than an hour, raising questions about whether construction materials used in the cladding may have contributed to the fire spreading so quickly.

Neighbours described seeing the rapid spread of the flames, with residents stuck on balconies and children screaming.

Those left homeless by the fire, including many Ukrainian refugees who lived in the large residential complex, were initially taken to city hotels but were expected to be moved to other accommodation over the weekend.

Valencia mayor Maria Jose Catala said the fire’s cause is still unknown and it is too early to comment on whether some materials used in the construction of the modern complex might have worsened it. – AP