At least two dead after blast in central Madrid

At least two people have died and several are injured after an explosion that brought down a building in central Madrid on Wednesday (January 20).

The premises belonged to the Catholic Church.

Initial investigations suggested the blast in Calle de Toledo, a street that leads out from the city center, had been caused by a gas leak, according to the city's mayor, Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida.

Smoke billowed out of the collapsed building and rescue workers evacuated elderly people from a nearby nursing home.

The top five floors were totally destroyed, with walls blown out, while the bottom two floors were still mostly intact, but charred in places from the flames.

A Church official said one volunteer was missing.

A neighbor said the building was a complex that provided residential training for priests and also gave meals to homeless people.