Spanish court opens manslaughter probe into club fire that killed 13 people
Murcia’s La Fonda Milagros, and two clubs in the same complex called Teatre and Golden, were hit by the fire in the early hours of Monday, 2nd October. Investigations into how the blaze started are still ongoing, with police looking into whether it may have been the result of negligence.
The Superior Prosecutor of Justice of the Region, José Luis Díaz Manzanera, told La Opinion de Murcia that “it will be difficult” to reach a definitive conclusion on the investigation of the fire, but added that under Article 142 of the Penal Code, any persons found responsible for any negligence that caused the fire could be sentenced to up to nine years in prison. This is because “it is a case involving a large number of deaths,” Manzanera said.
He continued: “We must go centimetre by centimetre, checking everything. Let’s see how it ends up. There may have been a short circuit that was not caused by negligence.”
Earlier this week, Murcia’s deputy mayor, Antonio Navarro, said the company running the Teatre and La Fonda Milagros nightclubs only had a permit to run one of them, and that they had therefore been operating illegally. He added that they had been ordered to close by the city council in January 2022.
Police believe the fire broke out in the La Fonda Milagros, before spreading to Teatre and Golden. The fatalities, a police spokesman said, were “all concentrated in a very small area in the Fonda establishment”.
Murcia Mayor Jose Ballesta declared three days of mourning in Murcia following the fire, which is the worst of its kind in the country since a nightclub fire in Zaragoza killed 43 people in 1990.