Two dead after blast in religious complex in Madrid

Two people have died and another is said to be missing after a building belonging to the church collapsed in a central Madrid explosion, according to Telemadrid broadcaster.

The mayor of Madrid said at least two people had died and said initial indications are that the blast was caused by a gas leak.

“The priests who live on the fifth and sixth floors are fine. We are trying to locate a volunteer who works with us,” the vicar general told Telemadrid.

A reporter for TVE public broadcaster said several had been injured, without giving details.

Emergency services could not immediately confirm if there had been injuries.

A Reuters reporter saw smoke coming out of the collapsed building and rescue workers evacuating elderly people from a nearby nursing home.

The collapsed building was a religious complex that provided residential training for priests and gave meals for the homeless, a neighbour told Reuters.

A police spokeswoman said the area was being evacuated but could not confirm the source of the explosion.

La Sexta TV quoted government sources saying it may have been a gas leak. Officials could not immediately confirm.

The explosion happened in Toledo street, in the city centre.