Spanish court investigates suspected manslaughter in nightclub inferno

Policemen stand guard after adjoining nightclubs caught fire in Murcia, Spain, October 2, 2023. REUTERS/Eva Manez

MADRID (Reuters) - A court in Spain's southeastern region of Murcia has opened a criminal investigation into suspected reckless manslaughter in the deaths of 13 people in the country's deadliest nightclub fire for decades.

The fire tore through three neighbouring nightclubs on the outskirts of the city of Murcia on Sunday, causing its worst damage in two of them, Teatre and La Fonda Milagros. Officials have said the cause of the blaze is still unknown.

Local authorities said on Monday that both nightclubs were operating in spite of having been ordered to shut down a year ago for operating without a valid permit.

The judge is awaiting the results of genetic samples submitted to identify the victims, once autopsies have been completed.

(Reporting by Emma Pinedo; Editing by Peter Graff)

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