Warehouse Fire Injures 17 Squatters As Authorities Fear More Trapped Inside

Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joana Mihajlovska, Agency:  Newsflash

These images show a large fire at an industrial warehouse where as many as 150 squatters are thought to live, leaving 17 injured while the authorities fear several more could be trapped inside.

The blaze was reported at a warehouse in the municipality of Badalona located in the province of Barcelona in the Spanish region of Catalonia at around 9pm on 9th December.

According to an official report, around 30 fire brigades were sent to the scene where they rescued approximately 30 people trapped on the roof or facade of the building.

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The firemen struggled to put out the blaze which was still active by 1am on 10th December. It is unclear if the fire is under control yet.

The authorities have reported 17 injuries with two of them considered critical and four others serious as the remaining 11 have less severe injuries, according to Catalonia Health Minister Alba Verges, 42.

Firemen fear there could be as many as 30 people still trapped inside the building with reports of anywhere between 100 to 150 squatters habitually living in the building with most of them being sub-Saharan immigrants.

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However, first-responders have not been able to enter the structure due to serious concerns about the building crumbling as parts of it have already collapsed and its structural integrity is considered compromised.

Catalan Minister of Interior Miquel Samper made a statement saying there are two operations taking place. One is to put out the fire and secure the building while the other is a “humanitarian” one providing physical and psychological care for the victims.

He added an investigation into the fire will be started as soon as the area can be secured and authorities can start collecting evidence.

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