“Ruined businessman” rams car with explosives into PP headquarters

Gas canisters failed to explode. Man blames ruling party for his financial woes

The area around PP headquarters on Génova Street has been cordoned off.FOTO: J. VILLANUEVA / VÍDEO: ATLAS (atlas)

A man claiming to be a ruined businessman drove a car containing explosive material into the headquarters of the ruling Popular Party (PP) in Madrid early Friday morning, police said.

The failed attack took place shortly before 7am, with no injuries reported.

The car, a Citroën Xantia with Guadalajara license plates, contained two gas canisters, along with two sacks of industrial fertilizer. The material failed to explode, and police said there was no further risk of detonation.

The Tedax bomb squad was immediately dispatched to the building, located on Génova street, near Colón Square

The Tedax bomb squad was immediately dispatched to the building, located on Génova street, near Colón Square. The area has been cordoned off and police have asked PP leaders to tell their employees to stay home until the investigation is over.

The detainee, a Spaniard named Daniel Pérez Berlanga from Bronchales (Teruel), claimed that the explosives were going to go off within half-an-hour and blamed the PP for his financial troubles, which had led him to lose everything.

The vehicle entered the building at high speed, and got as far as the interior staircase, narrowly missing an office cleaner. The glass entrance was completely destroyed by the impact, while a trail of oil was visible from the door to the sidewalk.

The man, who was unemployed, according to his neighbors, had finished fifth in an official exam for a position at the municipal council of Bronchales, a village of 461 people in the Albarracín mountains. The job was the supervision of the harvest of mushrooms in the village.

The police have said that Pérez will be subjected to a psychiatric evaluation.

The PP’s spokesperson in Congress, Rafael Hernando, said that the attack against the party headquarters was due to a “crazy decision” made by an “unbalanced” person. Madrid Mayor Ana Botella called for “calm” after the incident.