Spanish nightclub fire: two premises had invalid papers

Two of the nightclubs involved in the fire on Sunday in a leisure area of the Spanish city of Murcia, in which 13 people died, did not have a municipal licence and had a cease and desist order since January 2022.

This was announced on Monday by municipal officials at a press conference, in which they offered the first data of the investigations carried out to find out the origin of the tragedy.

The fire started in the early hours of Sunday morning in one of the premises of the complex of Atalayas, a popular area of Murcia, where dozens of nightclubs, fast food outlets and nightclubs are located.

The municipal authorities also confirmed today the figure of thirteen dead, as the five people who were missing were located in good condition and have been in contact with their relatives.

In addition, no new bodies have been found in the disaster area since firefighters have gained full access to it.

The mayor of Murcia, José Ballesta, has declared three days of mourning.

'I'm going to die'

A few minutes after the fire started, one of the missing women sent a voice message on Whatsapp to her mother that night.

The 28-year-old, who was at the club with her boyfriend, sent a message that read: "I'm going to die. I love you mum".

The father shared the message with media at the scene on Sunday: "She is my daughter and I have never heard from her again. I haven't heard from her boyfriend either".

Authorities were able to enter the nightclub a few hours after the fire broke out, 'after the fire had been extinguished', where they discovered 'four bodies', then others some forty minutes later.

Four people were also injured - two women aged 22 and 25 and two men aged 41 and 45 - after inhaling smoke.

Only three bodies have been identified using fingerprints. However, authorities have warned that the rest of the identifications could take days as DNA samples have to be taken to Madrid.

Devoured by the flames

In this photo provided by Bomberos/ayuntamiento de Murcia, part of the burned-out interior a nightclub which caught fire is pictured. - AP/AP

More than a dozen people who had been at the night club told the Spanish newspaper El País that there were no marked emergency exits.

According to the photos released by the emergency services, the venue - the ‘Teatre’ nightclub - was devoured by the flames.

Photos from the scene show water hoses from fire trucks continuing to spray the blackened facade in a street invaded by emergency vehicles, with thick smoke escaping from the roof of the nightclub.

According to the mayor of Murcia José Ballesta the fire service mobilised 12 emergency vehicles, 40 firefighters, as well as around twenty police officers.