The discotheque where 13 people died Sunday in a violent fire in Murcia had been the subject of an administrative closure order for a year, which had not been implemented. applied, indicated Monday the authorities of this city in the south-east of Spain.
According to Antonio Navarro, deputy mayor, the municipality had in fact decreed the cessation of the nightclub's activity in January 2022, before ordering the implementation of this decision in October – which should have resulted in a closure of the establishment.
The cessation of the activity was decreed because the company managing the premises only had a license for a nightclub, the Teatre, although it had opened one another in a part of the same space, the Fonda Milagros, where the deadly fire took place, he detailed, ensuring that neither one nor the other therefore had the right to be opened.
“The last step was the implementation order of October 2022 and from there, indeed, there was a violation (of the closure order) on the part of the company,” insisted Antonio Navarro, without giving more information on the potential origin of the disaster.
Faced with questions about the authorities' inability to enforce their decision, he promised that the town hall would ensure that ” all responsibilities” are established by justice.
The managers of the establishment, for their part, denied this and claimed to be in good standing. “No one informed us that there was no longer a valid license,” assured their lawyer, Francisco Adan.
“We are collaborating with the competent authorities and have confidence in them to clarify the facts,” assured the Fonda Milagros nightclub in a message on social networks.
– six bodies identified –
The fire, of “extreme” violence according to the mayor of Murcia, broke out on Sunday around six a.m. (04:00 GMT) in the Fonda Milagros, before spreading to the Teatre and another adjoining nightclub, the Golden.
According to the police, it was inside the Fonda Milagros that the thirteen victims died. When the fire started, they “were gathered in a very small space”, said a spokesperson, Diego Seral.
“The searches are now over, all the missing people and victims have been found”, declared the mayor of Murcia, José Ballesta, on the Telecinco channel.
The place being popular among young people from Latin America, victims include people from Colombia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, as well as Spaniards, according to a government spokesperson.
The residents of the city, which declared three days of mourning, were invited on Monday to respect a minute of silence, while a psychological reception unit was set up.
“It's shock, desolation. We can't say anything to console the families and friends of the victims, there are no words,” said the president of the region, Fernando López Miras. “What they need is for their loved one to be identified” to be able to begin their mourning.
A police spokesperson confirmed to AFP on Monday evening that “six of the victims were identified using their fingerprints.”
“The bodies are charred and working (on their identification) will be very complicated,” explained the prefect of Murcia, Francisco Jiménez.
– “We are going to die” –
Firefighters try to extinguish the fire at a nightclub on October 1, 2023 in Murcia, southeastern Spain ©  ;Bomberos de Murcia – Handout
The investigation into the causes of the tragedy, which are still unclear, was delayed by the heat and the risk of collapse in the nightclub, the firefighters having asked the scientific police on Sunday to wait for the temperature to drop before being able to return. /p>
According to the prefect of Murcia, the fire “started at Fonda (Milagros) and was able to spread very quickly through the air conditioning ducts.”
The press reports that the fire started from one floor of the nightclub where people were gathered to celebrate a birthday.
This particularly deadly fire caused a stir in Spain, with King Felipe VI notably expressing his “pain and his dismay” after “this tragic day”.
A man named Jairo and presenting himself as the father of one of the victims played to the press a voice message sent by his 28-year-old daughter to 6:06 a.m. Sunday.
“Mom, I love you, we're going to die, I love you, mom,” says the young woman, crying, while we hear screams behind her.
All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2023) Agence France-Presse