Apartment complex collapsed in Spanish resort

by Lorraine Williamson
complex collapse - photo from Ximo Puig on Twitter

VALENCIA – Part of an apartment complex collapsed in Peñíscola, Spain, on Wednesday evening. Two young men were rescued from the rubble. The youngest of 14 years did not survive the disaster. Spanish rescue services are still looking for a woman. 

Shortly after the building collapsed, dozens of fire and ambulance units rushed towards Peñíscola. It soon became clear that at least three people were buried under the rubble. 

Young man rescued 

Just after midnight, a 26-year-old male was pulled alive from the rubble. Emergency services heard him calling and knocking. When the man was rescued, he was in shock. He was taken to hospital where he told emergency services that his younger stepbrother and mother were also buried under the rubble. 

This morning (Thursday) around 7.30 am, the lifeless body of a 14-year-old boy – presumably, the stepbrother of the man found earlier – was found under the rubble. His body has since been recovered by authorities. 

Spanish rescue services still looking for missing woman 

At the time of writing, Spanish emergency services are continuing with the rescue effort. The rescued boy’s mother is still trapped under the rubble. But local media say she has been located by rescue dogs. However, it is currently unknown whether this woman is still alive. Although, it is known that rescue services are having trouble getting to her safely. 

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How did the apartment complex collapse? 

It is currently unknown why part of the 1990s built complex collapsed. Ximo Puig, the regional president of Valencia, said that the building’s architects have carried out an initial evaluation. “For now, it’s important that rescue services can do their job before we figure out what caused the building to collapse,” said Puig. 

In a tweet, Puig stated, “The most important thing is to guarantee the safety of the emergency teams focused on locating the trapped woman. I have personally thanked them for the enormous effort made all night.”

WhatsApp group offers certainty on no more victims 

According to the mayor of the Spanish village, eight houses have come down and are estimated to be home to around thirty people. The Spanish emergency services are fairly certain that no more people are buried under the rubble. 

All residents were members of a WhatsApp group. So everyone was located quickly so it could be determined they were not in the complex when the complex collapsed. 

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