Possible gas leak explosion kills at least 3 in downtown Madrid

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Jan. 20 (UPI) — An explosion in Madrid on Wednesday destroyed the top floors of a building and killed multiple people, Spanish authorities said.

The cause of the blast wasn’t immediately known but news reports indicated a possible gas leak.

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Emergencias Madrid said at least three people were dead and 11 were injured, including one person who was in serious condition.

Bomberos Madrid, the local firefighter unit, said it has ceased work to secure adjoining buildings damaged in the blast until Thursday morning.

Images posted online showed heavy damage to the building and debris that littered the street. A nearby nursing home was evacuated.

Madrid Mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida said the building is owned by the Church of the Virgen de la Paloma, also known as the Church of Paloma, and is used for priest training and providing meals to homeless.

“The priests who live on the fifth and sixth floors are fine,” the vicar general told Telemadrid. “We are trying to locate a volunteer who works with us.”