25 Jun, 2024 @ 18:00
1 min read

Court in Spain demands re-opening of legal probe into deadly Valencia fire that claimed 10 lives

Court in Spain demands re-opening of legal probe into deadly Valencia fire that claimed 10 lives

THE Court of Valencia has ordered the reopening of the case to determine the cause of a city apartment block fire in February which killed 10 people.

The bench order supersedes a judge’s decision to close the file just 15 days after the disaster in the Campanar district.

It stated that the decision to provisionally dismiss the case was ‘premature’, as it was just based on an initial police letter that said no criminality was involved.


DAY AFTER FIRE(Cordon Press image)

The Court criticised the investigating judge for acting on something that was ‘clearly’ not a full report.

It commented that the communication did not contain ‘ a rigorous examination of the origin and cause of the accident’.

“The official letter did not specify either the origin of the incident, or the causes that caused its rapid spread such as the construction materials, weather conditions, or the reasons why not everybody was rescued, “ the court continued.

The damning court order states that the judge’s decision lacks ‘a complete, solid and exhaustive factual account of the causes of the accident’.

The Prosecutor’s Office opposed the original decision and asked for appeals to be heard by relatives of fire victims.

10 people died in the Campanar district building on February 22 with the blaze destroying the 14-storey luxury residential complex consisting of 138 apartments.

Four of the victims were a husband, wife, and their two children.

The man’s grandfather launched an appeal against the investigating court decision to provisionally shelve its probe.

In April, the Campanar building’s Community of Owners joined his case to find out what legal basis was used to form a conclusion of non-criminality by the investigating judge.

Guillermo Arago, a lawyer for the owners group, suggested then that all inquiry options had not been exhausted and did not rule out a ‘reckless crime’ charge.

In early May, it was revealed that a fridge gas leak was the most likely cause of the fire.

The blaze started in an eight floor apartment kitchen with police scientists concluding the probable cause was the igniting of highly flammable isobutane gas used in a refrigerator.

There was nobody in the apartment at the time.

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