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The worst scenario in the València apartment building fire has been confirmed. The firefighters and rescue specialists who this Friday, once the flames were extinguished, entered the 138-flat residential complex looking for possible victims, have found the corpses of nine people. That figure, confirmed this evening after the identification of bodies had begun, is one fewer than the total of ten deaths announced earlier today after the building interior had first been inspected. The lowering of the figure of deaths means there is one person still unaccounted for, the Spanish government delegation in València has confirmed this evening.    

València's forensic medicine institute prepared five teams for the removal of the corpses with a dozen forensic doctors and technicians, located in a tent near the two charred apartment towers, both part of the same residential complex in the Nou Campanar neighbourhood. After the bodies were removed from the building, a first inspection was to take place in this field facility, before a full autopsy in an appropriate medical environment.

The victims, in process of identification

The process now underway will have to confirm the identity of the nine bodies found. Among the missing were a young couple with two young children, an elderly couple, a high school teacher, and a woman who called her family to tell them she was trapped by the flames and couldn't get out of her apartment. The authorities have set up a an attention point for families where DNA samples are being taken to be able to compare them with those of the victims. Experts in dentistry and radiological identification have also been called in in case bodies cannot be identified directed from the biological remains.

With these victims having been located in the first visual inspection, the firefighters and scientific police will continue to inspect the building in more depth in the coming hours and it is not ruled out that they may find more fatalities. At the same time, an investigation has been opened to clarify the causes of the fire, which in a matter of minutes spread throughout the building, with the cladding material used on the building and the strong wind seeming to have played key roles in the tragedy. The Valéncia investigating court No 10, which has taken charge of the case, has decreed confidentiality of the proceedings.

Edifici calcinat en l'incendi a València Efe
The apartment building destroyed by fire in València / Efe

More than 100 people placed in accommodation

Of the fifteen people who were injured in the blaze, including seven firefighters, only two are still hospitalized, and they are out of danger. As for the affected residents, 105 people have been rehoused in a hotel by the València city council, while a block of 131 flats, which the council acquired to convert into social housing, is being made available so that they can live there in the coming months. In addition, three attention centres have been set up for both affected residents and relatives of those who have not been located, as well as a helpline.