What we know about the victims of gas explosion in central Madrid

What we know about the victims of gas explosion in central Madrid
Photo: AFP
The toll from a powerful explosion caused by a gas leak that gutted a building in a residential part of Madrid rose to four on Thursday after a priest died from his injuries.

The 36-year-old named as Rubén Pérez Ayala, who was ordained a priest last June, was one of the 11 people who were injured during Wednesday's blast in the La Latina district.    

He died in hospital in the early hours of Thursday, the Madrid archdiocese said in a statement.

The building belonging to the Church of the Virgin de la Paloma and San Pedro el Real located next-door, was completely destroyed in the blast.    

Also killed in the blast was an electrician who was working on the building's boiler on the fifth floor. He was named as father of four David Santos Muñoz, 35, a parishioner who offered to help out at the church property which was used as accomodation for priests as well as meeting rooms and Caritas, the church charity that helps the poor.

 

The other two mortal victims were two men who later identified as a carpenter working nearby who was killed as he walked in the street below just as the blast occured and a Bulgarian national who was in the building visiting the church charity.

Javier Gandía Sepulveda, a 45-year old carpenter and father of two from La Puebla de Almoradiel, a small town inToledo province.

Stefko Ivanov, 46, who is thought to have been visitng Caritas, the Catholic Church charity which operated at 98 Calle de Toledo he had been living in Spain for 15 years and was a resident of Fuenlabrada.

Neighbours reported a strong smell of gas in the minutes before the blast.

Despite the force of the explosion, no one was hurt in the elderly care home next door, nor in an adjacent school where tonnes of debris fell into the playground while the children were in class.

At least 15 cars were destroyed in the area.

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