At least 13 people have died in a fire at a Spanish nightclub, with police warning the death toll could rise as a number of attendees remain unaccounted for.
The fire broke out in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Murcia-based nightclub, Fonda Milagros. It is believed to have started at around 6:00AM on the first floor of the club, with the cause yet to be determined by authorities.
The nightclub is based in the Atalayas area of the city, and is made up of three different adjoining venues which are the Golden, Teatre and Fonda — all were affected by the fire.
Diego Seral, of Spain's National Police spoke to the The Independent, claiming the Fonda Milagros had sustained the majority of fire damage, including the collapse of its roof which is making it difficult to locate victims — adding that the identification of bodies "would take time."
According to the BBC, four people have been injured from smoke inhalation, and others are still missing since the incident.
Murcia’s mayor, José Ballesta said that no more bodies had been found overnight, yet police warn that the number of those killed in the fire could rise.
A spokesperson for the Policía Nacional told the broadcast channel RTVE: “We can confirm the sad news that 13 people have died – three of whom have already been identified”.
The spokesperson continues: “When it comes to the number of missing people, we’re opting for caution. We’re not ruling out that there may be more dead people inside. We still haven’t managed to get into the interior of the club … The state that the facilities are in is making things difficult for both firefighters and police.”
Deputy mayor of Murcia Rebeca Pérez has said that five people who had been reported missing have been found this morning
SUR reports that Pérez has confirmed today that these survivors are "safe and sound".
Among those missing is couple Jorge and Rosa Bajiota who had travelled to the city from a nearby town with two friends according to El Mundo. The couple have three children and Jorge's car is still parked close to the nightclub.
One of the couple’s friends sent an audio message during the fire to her mother which said: “I love you, Mum. We’re going to die, Mum. I love you.” El Mundo reports that you can hear people shouting for the lights to be turned on in the background of the audio.
The nightclub has released the following statement which translates to: “The Fonda wishes to express its condolences to the families of the fatal victims of the fire that occurred last morning of October 1, and convey all our support to the people injured in this tragic incident.
“Likewise, we want to communicate that, from the first moment, we are collaborating with the competent authorities, in whom we fully trust for the clarification of the facts, refraining from making demonstrations until the investigation that determines the real cause of what happened is completed.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
This is a developing story.
Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter