Officials say 2 are still missing after a Spanish nightclub fire killed 13
In his photo provided by ayuntamiento de Murcia, part of the burned-out interior a nightclub which caught fire is pictured in Murcia. Photo: AP News

MADRID (AP) — Authorities in the southern Spanish city of Murcia said Monday that two people believed to have been in a nightclub where 13 others died in a fire are still missing and that the club was operating without a permit.

The town hall’s announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter, came after Francisco Jiménez, the central government’s official for the region, earlier said all the missing had been located and no more bodies had been found. Jiménez later said there had been confusion in the figures for the missing.

Jiménez said the dead included the nationals of Spain, Colombia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. It was not known how many people were in the club when the fire broke out at 6:00 am Sunday.

It was the deadliest nightclub blaze in Spain since 43 people were killed in Zaragoza in 1990.

On Monday, firefighters and police continued to assess damage before beginning to search for clues as to how the fire started.

The blaze started in one nightclub and spread to two others nearby, Spanish state news agency EFE said. All the bodies were found in the first nightclub. 24 people were injured but none was hospitalised.

Murcia town hall reported that authorities had rejected permit renewals for the two nightclubs and ordered them closed in 2022. The city said it would investigate how the clubs had continued operating.

Representatives of the clubs denied on Spanish national television that they had been operating illegally.

The city council declared three days of mourning with flags flown at half-staff on public buildings. A minute’s silence was held outside Murcia´s town hall at noon Monday.

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