Drama in Spain: Building collapses minutes after evacuation

by Lorraine Williamson
Teruel building collapse


TERUEL – A five-story building in the city of Teruel completely collapsed on Tuesday morning, just as the last occupant left the building. The residents had been evacuated by the fire service shortly before. 

Adjacent buildings have also been evacuated. No injuries were reported, according to the Teruel province fire service. The municipality of Teruel has announced that the cause of the incident will be investigated. Furthermore, the people who have had to leave their homes will be accommodated elsewhere. 

Everything indicates that the recent storms are the main cause. “There were leaks and flooded basements”. Acting Mayor of Teruel, Emma Buj, explained that there was a report about the poor condition of the building. City architects, the police and the fire brigade immediately arrived on site to evacuate the building and adjacent properties. 

Buj herself was on site and said: “We were here, I was also at the site, along with the acting Councilor for Spatial Planning and all municipal services, when the building, which creaked, collapsed,” Buj said in a statement to the media. 

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She indicated that the cause is still unknown at this time. “That will have to be investigated”. About the fact that residents had warned of leaks, the acting mayor noted that this morning the company responsible for water treatment was in the building, “precisely because the basements were flooded”. 

However, she stressed that after the recent rains, this is happening “at many buildings in Teruel” and that they are not collapsing. So people eagerly await the results of the investigation into the cause. 

Assistance to those affected 

Buj noted that many of those affected are “present here”, having been evacuated from their homes. “Others have come quickly, but not everyone may be there.” That is why a telephone line for those affected has already been activated: 689 11 67 58. In addition, municipal services, social workers and psychologists are busy supporting the affected families. 

“There were an estimated 21 homes and at the moment psychological assistance is a priority because we are talking about families who have just lost their home, in many cases their own home, with their belongings.” 

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