Fourteen homes have been destroyed by a huge explosion that is believed to have been sparked intentionally by the building owner who still remains missing.
The incident took place around 6.15 am on 19th November in the city of Torrevieja, a well known tourist spot in the Costa Blanca area, in the eastern Spanish region of Valencia.
The gas blast reportedly took down the building’s partition wall and destroyed 14 apartments on the first floor and caused minor damage to the second floor.
A nearby building and multiple parked cars on the street were also damaged.
The Emergency Information and Coordination Centre (CICU) has confirmed that there were no serious injuries.
According to the City Council, one elderly person had to be transferred to a care home and six families have been evicted and placed in hotels while the rest of the tenants on the second and third floor were able to go back to their homes safely.
Reports said the Spanish Civil Guard is currently looking for the 50-year-old building owner who is suspected of causing the explosion.
In his apartment, firefighters found nine bottles of butane, three camping gas cans, paint, and petrol cans, as well as a large accumulation of belongings indicating to a ‘typical case of Diogenes syndrome’, characterised by self-neglect and domestic squalor.
Tenants of the building have revealed that the man, who had been reported to the police multiple times in the past, even recently by his own son, was a confrontational person who had allegedly threatened to blow up the building in the past.
The case is currently being further investigated while the authorities continue to search for the suspect among the rubble.