Two dead and five missing in Tenerife apartment collapse

Neighboring buildings were evacuated after incident in tourist area of Canary Island

First images from the collapse.Video: InfoEmergencias / EL PAÍS VÍDEO

The bodies of two women have been found among the rubble of an apartment block that collapsed on the island of Tenerife on Thursday morning. A total of five people are still unaccounted for in the ongoing search by emergency services.

Video from the scene posted on Twitter.

The first victim was recovered from the ruins of the building on Thursday evening, while the second body, of a 40-year-old woman, was discovered in the early hours of Friday.

Seven other people were injured, one critically.

The building is located in a tourist area in the town of Arona, and some of the owners are not permanent residents, making it difficult to estimate how many people were inside at the time of the incident.

A 57-year-old woman is in a serious condition while a 28-year-old Italian man sustained minor injuries, according to preliminary reports. A third person, a 55-year-old woman, was treated after suffering a panic attack on site.

A military emergency unit was dispatched to the area to help with the rescue operation and evacuate all nearby buildings as a preventive measure.

A local resident told Spanish news agency Efe that there was a smell of gas and an explosion shortly before the collapse, which took place around 9.30am.

The five-floor apartment block is located in the neighborhood of Los Cristianos and was built 30 to 40 years ago.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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