The explosion was in an apartment building near a nursing home and school, and officials say the cause is likely a gas leak

At least three people have died and six others were injured after an “extremely loud” explosion destroyed a Catholic Church residential building in downtown Madrid

The explosion occurred near a nursing home and school – and videos and pictures shared on social media showed debris in the street

The city’s mayor said early information suggested the explosion was caused by a gas leak and confirmed that one of the bodies was discovered beneath the rubble at the time someone was working on a boiler

Two people were taken to hospital for further treatment – and one of them is in severe condition with a head injury

Mayor Jose Luis Martínez-Almeida said there was an ongoing fire in the six-story building destroyed by the explosion

It was a complex that trained priests in dormitories and also gave meals to the homeless, said a neighbor

According to TVE, the school was probably empty at the time, as classes were held after a record snowfall in the Spanish capital on 9th January had not yet been resumed

One witness, Leire Reparaz, said she heard a loud explosion a few minutes before 3 p.m. local time as she walked to her home near the landmark of the Puerta de Toledo

She told the AP news agency: “We didn’t know where the sound was coming from. We all thought it was from school

“We went up the stairs to the top of our building and could see the structure of the building and a lot of gray smoke”

The explosion occurred on Toledo Street The footage on Twitter showed smoke coming from the building, a series of wrecked cars, and debris in the street

A police spokeswoman said the area was being evacuated but could not confirm the cause of the explosion

© 2021 Sky UK

Explosion in Madrid, Madrid

World news – GB – Madrid: “Extremely loud” explosion in the city center – at least three people dead