The fire in Badalona, a suburban town of 220,000 north of Barcelona, injured at least 19 people, including three who are in very critical condition, authorities said.
Flames have ripped through an abandoned warehouse occupied by scores of immigrant squatters in a Barcelona suburb, killing at least two people and injuring at least 19.
The fire, which sent a huge cloud of smoke into the air overnight, was under control by Thursday morning, but authorities said parts of the building had collapsed and there was a risk the whole structure could fall, complicating rescue efforts.
Undocumented immigrants often slept in the warehouse in the large industrial suburb of Badalona, Catalonia region's acting president Pere Aragones and other officials said.
"It was a squat which we had for years known could end in tragedy," Badalona mayor Xavier Garcia Albiol told journalists at the site.
Lamentamos comunicar que ya han sido localizadas dos víctimas mortales en la nave del Gorg. El incendio está controlado y @bomberscat siguen trabajando para acceder al edificio; de momento no pueden porque está al borde del colapso. #Badalona pic.twitter.com/9RUBtwS1dc— Xavier García Albiol (@Albiol_XG) December 10, 2020
Many people who were sleeping inside when the fire broke out late on Wednesday managed to escape, Aragones told broadcaster TVE.
"We don't know exactly how many people there were at the time of the fire," Aragones added. "We still need to see if there could be someone who remained trapped inside."
The building had housed as many as 180 people in the past, a Catalan interior department spokesman said.
Emergency services treated 19 people, including three in a critical state and four others seriously injured, officials said.
Miquel Samper, in charge of interior affairs in the regional Catalan government, said the origin of the fire was not known yet.
Badalona is a large coastal Barcelona suburb with a population of about 220,000, making it the fourth largest city in the Catalonia region.
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