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The Independent UK

Madrid explosion kills two people and injures 18Madrid explosion kills two people and injures 18

VICTOR MANUEL ARELLANO via REUTE

Two people have died and at least 18 injured in a strong explosion that rocked a four-storey building in central Madrid, Spanish authorities said.

The two who died were men carrying out renovatin work on the building, according to the city’s mayor, Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida.

After an hours-long search, firefighters said the bodies of two people, ages 21 and 27, had been found in the rubble.

Of the 18 people hurt, most of the injuries were not serious, officials said, but four people were taken to hospital, one in serious condition.

Asked about reports that a gas leak had caused the explosion, the mayor said it was too early to know.

“Some work was being done in the building and neighbours said there was a powerful explosion,” he said.

“Firefighters are inside, checking the building’s structure and to determine whether more people could be inside,” he told the Telemadrid TV channel.

Video footage showed paramedics attending to the injured, as police and firefighters cordoned off streets cluttered with glass and debris.

Police helped residents shaken by the blast (AFP via Getty Images)
A firefighter inspects a building from a ladder (AFP via Getty Images)

The blast sent plumes of smoke billowing over parts of the area.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez said in a tweet that his office was closely following the situation and offered his support to the victims.