Pope expresses sorrow for victims of Madrid explosion

The destroyed Church building in central Madrid (Vatican News)

Pope Francis sent a telegram of condolence for the victims of an explosion in the Spanish capital of Madrid, which killed four people including a local priest. Source: Vatican News.

Many residents in Calle de Toledo were having lunch on Wednesday when a massive explosion rocked the area.

Madrid authorities said the blast was likely caused by a gas leak on the upper stories of a building owned by the Church. Three people died when the top five stories of the building blew apart.

A priest was pulled from the rubble and taken to hospital. Fr Rubén Pérez Ayala, 36, died from his wounds yesterday.

The other three victims included a local electrician who was working on the building’s boiler, an 85-year-old Spanish woman, and a Bulgarian citizen. Eleven others were injured in the blast.

Pope Francis sent a telegram to the Madrid Archbishop, Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra, expressing his sorrow.

In the message signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope voiced his closeness and affection as the Archdiocese mourns.

The Pope said he is praying for the victims, the injured, and their families and entrusted all those affected to the intercession of Our Lady of Almudena, the patroness of Madrid.

The building destroyed in the blast was owned by the local parish Church of Our Lady of the Dove. It was part of a complex used for residential training of priests, and also provided meals for the homeless.

FULL STORY

Pope expresses sorrow for victims of Madrid explosion (By Devin Watkins, Vatican News

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