A holiday catastrophe in northern Spain. At least one hundred and eighty people were killed?
A holiday catastrophe in northern Spain. At least one hundred and eighty people were killed on Tuesday (11 July) when a blazing gas tanker careered into a holiday camp in northern Spain. A fireball swept through the camp at Los Alfaques, some one hundred and sixty kilometres (100 miles) southwest of Barcelona, setting off a chain of butane gas cylinder explosion in campers' tents and caravans. Twelve bungalows and a discotheque on the site were blown to pieces. Doctors predicted several hundred more people could die from third degree burns they suffered. The blasts gouged out a crater twenty metres (yards) wide, and gutted and estimated ninety cars.
SYNOPSIS: The major explosion, when the tanker blew up, flung charred bodies throughout an area measuring one thousand metres (yard) across. Police estimated there were a thousand campers on the site at the time, a great many of them taking their afternoon siesta clad in bathing suits. Most of the victims were French and West German tourists, and others were from Span, Britain, Holland and Belgium.
First estimates of the injured, many of whom were suffering up to eighty percent burns to their bodies -- ranged between two hundred and six hundred. Doctors feared their injuries were so grievous seven out of every ten injured would die in hospital. The lucky ones who escaped did so because they were fishing at the seaside, outside the main camp area, at the time of the blasts. One little girl survived because she went outside the camp to buy an ice-cream. Officials of the Spanish oil monopoly Campsa said the tanker was carrying propylene, an inflammable gas used to make resins, synthetic fibres and other chemical products.
Ambulances sped from all over Tarragona province and nearby provinces to the scene. The Spanish Army sent ambulances and a helicopter. They rushed victims to hospitals in San Carlos, Reus, Tarragona, Barcelona and Valencia. Private cars and buses also ferried them to hospitals. Police said they would find it difficult to identify the dead because most were burned beyond recognition. Oil company officials said the tanker had been going from Tarragona to a refinery in Puertollano, in central Spain.