Murcia, Spain, Oct 3 (EFE).- One of the three nightclubs affected by a fire that broke out over the weekend in the southeastern Spanish city of Murcia passed a health inspection in March this year, even though it was not licensed and had been ordered to shut since January 2022.
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.
The last inspection report on the Teatre nighclub – which EFE has viewed – highlighted several deficiencies in the venue’s hygienic-sanitary conditions during a visit on Feb. 9, 2023.
According to the report, all the deficiencies were corrected a month later.
A spokesperson for the Teatre nightclub, Maria Dolores Albellan, told EFE that this fact corroborated that “everyone knew that the place was in operation.”
Local officials said during a press conference Monday that two nightclubs affected by the flames, the Fonda Milagros and Teatre nightclubs, were unlicensed.
According to the municipal government, the venue had been operating without a license for over 18 months since the city council had ordered the closure in January 2022, after the space had been partitioned.
The local authorities believed the nightclub required new opening and activity permits, which led the company to present a legalization project in March 2022, that has not yet been concluded.
The appeal the company submitted to prevent the venue from being closed was resolved on Mar. 8, 2022.
In October 2022, the city council ordered the inspection services to verify that the nightclub had shut.
According to the city council, officials didn’t receive any document or complaint that the venue was not complying with the closure order.
A Murcia court on Tuesday opened criminal proceedings for 13 cases of alleged manslaughter in relation to the fatalities from the blaze.
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