Spanish Court Launches Manslaughter Investigation Into Nightclub Fire That Killed 13

A Spanish court has now launched a manslaughter investigation surrounding the Fonda Milagros nightclub fire that killed 13 people on October 1, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The cause of the fire—which broke out at around 6AM on October 1 within Murcia, Spain’s Fonda Milagros and its two neighboring clubs, Teatre and Golden—is still under investigation, with local police now looking into whether negligence played a role.

In the days after the blaze, the BBC reported that both Fonda Milagros and Teatre had been ordered to close by the city council in January 2022. Although the company that owns all three affected clubs had eventually obtained a license for Teatre, it is unclear why Fonda Milagros remained operational.

Murcia’s Superior Prosecutor of Justice, José Luis Díaz Manzanera told La Opinion de Murcia “it will be difficult” to determine a final cause of the fire.

However, Manzanera added that under Article 142 of Murcia’s Penal Code, any persons found responsible for negligence that caused the fire could be sentenced to up to nine years in prison.

“We must go centimeter by centimeter, checking everything,” he continued. “Let’s see how it ends up. There may have been a short circuit that was not caused by negligence.”

Murcia police believe the fire broke out in Fonda Milagros before spreading to the adjacent Teatre and Golden. A police spokesperson told the BBC that the fatalities were, “all concentrated in a very small area in the Fonda establishment.”

In the wake of the tragedy, Murcia Mayor José Ballesta declared three days of official mourning for those lost in the blaze, Spain’s deadliest nightclub fire since 43 people were killed at a Zaragoza nightclub in 1990.

Featured image from AFP. Credit: Murcia Region 112 Emergency Services.

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