Thursday, July 15, 2004

Big Fire Collapses Center Of Madrid

At 13.40 hours local time today, a large-scale fire broke out in an electricity substation in the center of Madrid, close to the Prado museum, leaving over 8,000 without electricity, as well as causing a major traffic chaos. A number of explosions could be heard, and thick dark smoke columns hanging over the center can be seen from 20 miles away. At the same time another large fire nearby added to the chaos. Flames reached as high as 30 meters, according to press reports.

Smoke over Madrid - foto: Reuters

As people rushed to see what was going on, mobile networks went dead due to being overladen, adding to the difficulties. The power outage also affected the nearby parliament. Natural gas supply has been cut off to avoid additional danger of explosions, and firefighters are securing a gas station at 40 meters of the fire. Four people reportedly have been injured slightly.