Madrid skyscraper devastated by fire

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Monday, February 14, 2005

The ruins of the Windsor tower.

The 32-story Windsor Tower, located in the business district of Madrid, Spain, was devastated by the largest fire in the city's history.

The fire destroyed large parts of the building, completely gutting the top 14 floors. Parts of the structure collapsed during the blaze, which was extinguished on Sunday evening.

The 106m high tower is now extremely unstable, and experts believe there is a chance it could collapse in the next 24 hours. Surrounding areas have been evacuated, traffic diverted, and trains stopped on the three subway lines beneath the building.

The fire is believed to have been started by an electrical short-circuit on the 21st floor. No-one was in the building (which was undergoing refurbishment) at the time of the blaze; the only casualties being three firefighters treated for smoke inhalation.

The top twenty floors of the building housed the Deloitte & Touche auditing firm. The remains will be demolished at a future date.

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