Explosion at Madrid building leaves 2 dead, 18 injured

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MADRID — An explosion ripped through a four-story residential building in central Madrid on Friday, killing two people and injuring at least 18 others, authorities said.

Spanish emergency services initially said they were searching for two missing workers doing work on the building. After an hours-long search, firefighters said the bodies of two people, ages 21 and 27, had been found amid the rubble.

Video released by the city of Madrid showed paramedics attending to the injured at the scene in the upmarket neighborhood of Salamanca, as police and firefighters cordoned off streets that were cluttered with glass and debris.

Four of the injured were taken to a hospital, including one person in serious condition, after the blast sent plumes of smoke billowing into the air. According to Telemadrid, Madrid Mayor Jose Luis Martinez Almeida, emergency crews searched the building for any trapped people and checked the structure.

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 neighbors said there was a powerful explosion,” he said.

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

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