Two dead as fire ravages Spanish warehouse housing migrants

BADALONA, SPAIN (AFP) – A fire ripped through a warehouse occupied by migrants near Barcelona killing at least two people and injuring 19, including several who jumped from the building to escape the flames, Spanish officials said yesterday.

The blaze broke out at around 9pm on Wednesday in an industrial area of Badalona, a Barcelona suburb, where up to 200 migrants lived in squalid conditions, according to Badalona city hall.

Firefighters said they had so far found two bodies but could not rule out that more fatalities since they have not been able to enter the three-storey building which had been occupied by squatters for years. The blaze has been brought under control but firefighters were working to stabilise the structure of the warehouse to safely enter it and look for anyone who may be trapped inside, Fire Chief David Borrell told reporters at the scene.

“We are trying to determine if there are any sign that there are more people or not,” he said. At least 19 people were injured, including seven seriously, Catalonia’s civil protection agency said in a tweet.

Some people were hurt after jumping from the building, Regional Health Minister Alba Verges said.

Badalona mayor Xavier Garcia Albiol said the authorities had accounted for 60 people “but many escaped through the back windows and fled. Maybe over one hundred people left”.

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a building in Badalona, Barcelona, Spain. PHOTO: AP