20 Mar, 2024 @ 14:00
2 mins read

Victims of the deadly tower block fire in Valencia file a criminal negligence case against the building’s construction firm

RESIDENTS of the Valencia tower block where a fire claimed 10 lives on February 22 are alleging negligence over the blaze spreading so quickly.

The property owners association covering the Campanar district building has a filed a complaint with a Valencia court.

It refers to the commission of a ‘crime of damage’ due to ‘serious recklessness’ by the constructor and building agents.

PRIME MINISTER SANCHEZ ON FEBRUARY 23 VISIT(La Moncloa image)

The owners from the Calle Poeta Rafael Alberti block have also demanded the reopening of a preliminary judicial investigation into the fire’s cause, which the judge paused on March 8.

A report from Policia Nacional scientists revealed that an electric fault in a property started the blaze and that no ‘criminality’ was involved.

The owners association complaint has been sent via its president Francisco Fernandez, and lawyer Guillermo Arago Hervas from the firm, Togas & Tributos Abogados.

It refers to the ‘commission of an alleged crime of damage due to serious imprudence, with respect to the possible negligence of the building agents’, that could have been ‘key’ to the spread and consequences of the fire.

The complaint says responsibility must be determined for the devastating fire that destroyed practically the entire building, and caused fatalities.

The owners group said it is ‘obliged to denounce these facts in view of the destruction of the building itself and the considerable damage that has occurred in the property that makes up the Community of Owners’.

It specifies that that not only will it be necessary to find out how the fire started, but also to investigate why spread so quickly to destroy virtually the whole structure.

They refer to the ‘fire spreading quickly from the outside of the building to the interior and in a few minutes devastating the building, so it seems that the façade contributed to the spread of the fire, which is ‘not normal at all’.

Their lawyer Guillermo Arago said that the statute of limitations on the liability for constructors does not begin until the actual damage caused- the block was built in 2007.

The complaint wants an investigation and verification of whether the building was built in breach of the provisions of Royal Decree 2177/1996. of October 4, which imposed fire protection rules for buildings.

The denunicia also wants to discover whether there was possible negligence or recklessness during the installation of the facade cladding or whether the panel manufacturer could be liable for negligence.

The court is also urged to give the Valencia City Council a free hand to send the entire file which led to a major works permit being granted to build the block.

They want details of the building agents, and what construction rules were applied as well as the materials used in the construction.

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