A firefighter outside the La Fonda nightclub in Murcia, Spain, 2 October 2023, after the fire Sunday in which thirteen people died. EFE /Marcial Guillén

Nightclubs in Murcia hit by deadly fire were unlicensed, told to close in 2022

(Update: edits lead, headline, adds info on venues being unlicensed)

Murcia, Spain, Oct 2 (EFE).- Two nightclubs affected by a deadly fire that broke out over the weekend in the southeastern Spanish city of Murcia were unlicensed and had been ordered to shut in January 2022, municipal officials told a press conference Monday.

Thirteen people were killed in the blaze on Sunday, while 24 others were injured. Three of the victims have been identified by their fingerprints; the rest will be identified using DNA samples taken from relatives of people still unaccounted for.

Miriam Montealegre shows a photo of her relatives Erick Torres (R), Sergio Silva (L) and Martha Hernández (C), who are missing after a fire, at the Police Headquarters National, in Murcia, Spain, 2 October 2023. EFE/Marcial Guillén

Police in Murcia on Monday also confirmed that five people who had been missing since the fire have been located.

Firefighters have completed their work at the site and have confirmed that no other bodies were found during their search of the building, parts of which had collapsed.

The causes of the fire were still being investigated. According to police, the structure of the affected building, which housed several night-life venues, has been severely damaged.

The fire started at the Fonda Milagros nightclub in the early hours of Sunday and spread to two other venues in the Las Atalayas entertainment complex, a popular area in Murcia known for its nightlife.

Aerial view of the Golden, Teatre and La Fonda nightclubs in Murcia, Spain, 2 October 2023, after a fire on Sunday in which thirteen people died. EFE/Marcial Guillén

The fire is the deadliest at a nightclub in Spain since the 1990 tragedy in Zaragoza, where 43 people were killed.

The worst nightclub blaze in Spain’s history took place in a Madrid venue in 1983 in which 81 mostly young people lost their lives. EFE