An apartment building in the Madrid neighborhood of Carabanchel completely collapsed this morning, after cracks in the structure began to appear at around 4am.
The building, located at number 5, Duquesa de Tamames street, was evacuated by firefighters in the early hours of the morning, as well as the neighboring building. In total, 57 residents were moved from 40 properties.
In June we moved some furniture and we saw that there was a huge crack running from the ceiling to the floor”
The origin of the cracks was the poor condition of the foundations in the commercial property located on the ground floor of the structure, the Madrid emergency services told news agency EFE.
“In June we moved some furniture and we saw that there was a huge crack running from the ceiling to the floor,” explained José Luis, a resident who has been living in a rental apartment in the building for 10 years. He called his insurance company, who said that there was no hurry and that they would repair it in September. But last night, even bigger cracks appeared throughout the rest of the building, prompting residents to call the authorities.
The effect of the cracks saw the structure of the building move, making it impossible to open the doors. Only the residents on the fourth floor were able to open their apartments, with the rest being rescued by the fire service. Residents from the neighboring apartment also had to be evacuated given the risk to their building too.
While there were no injuries, residents are being treated for panic attacks at a field hospital set up close to their homes. They are waiting for a damage report from the fire service regarding the damage to the collapsed building and the importance of the cracks in the neighboring structure.
Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena, as well as the city’s security councilor, Javier Barbero, were on the scene to inspect the damage on Monday morning. “You can rest assured, we are going to offer you a house in line with your needs,” Carmena told residents.
The city council was unwilling, however, to offer any hypothesis as to the cause of the collapse.
English version by Simon Hunter.