gas explosion spain
© @SAMUR_PC / Twitter
Madrid’s Civil Protection and emergency services working at the scene of the explosion in Madrid on 20 January 2021.
Three people have died, one person is still missing, and over 8 have been left injured following a large explosion in Madrid on Wednesday. The blast occurred just before 3pm, destroying four floors of a building, No.98 in the Calle Toledo in central Madrid, as well as ripping the façade off the building.

Comment: The most recent updates report 4 dead.

The mayor of Madrid José Luis Martínez Almeida, who arrived at the scene soon after the emergency services, confirmed at the time that 'at least two people' had died, and that the initial assessment by the authorities was that the blast was caused by a gas leak. It has since been reported that repairs were being done to a gas boiler at the time of the explosion, and that a technician is still missing.

Images posted on social media immediately following the blast showed rubble and debris scattered across the street. Spanish media also reported that the building was an annex to a residential care home, 'La Paloma' residence, but that no injuries had been reported among the residents or workers at the centre.

Mayor Almeida also said that some mild damage had taken place at an adjacent school. Spanish public broadcaster TVE initially said the school was believed to be empty, but the mayor said that there were people there and had suffered no more than 'scratches'. Aerial footage shared by Spain's National Police [see below] showed rubble covering the schoolyard. Reports claim that thanks to the recent snow in Madrid, there were no pupils in the schoolyard at the time of the blast.

The Spanish government's representative for the Madrid region, José Manuel Franco, confirmed that three people have died. The Civil Protection agency in Madrid has asked for people not to approach the area of the explosion in order to leave access open for emergency vehicles.