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Death toll in squatter complex fire in Spain rises to 4

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Firefighters load the body of a dead person into a crane after a fire on a building in Badalona, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. Authorities in northeastern Spain say a fire has raged through an abandoned building occupied by squatters in the city of Badalona, injuring at least 17 people, including two in critical condition. Firefighters say they rescued around 30 people from windows as the building burned late Wednesday. (AP Photo/Joan Mateu)

MADRID – Workers clearing the rubble after a deadly fire at an industrial complex occupied by squatters and migrants near Barcelona last week have found another body, bringing the death toll to four, an official said Monday.

The Catalonia region's interior minister, Miquel Sàmper, announced the new fatality at a news conference. He added that the official death toll won't be final until a careful demolition of one of the buildings and rubble removal work are concluded.

More than 100 squatters, many of them African migrants, were believed to be living in precarious conditions at the abandoned complex in Badalona, a suburban town north of Barcelona, that caught fire the night of Dec. 9. In addition to the four deaths, more than 20 were injured in the inferno.

Survivors and authorities haven't been able to come up with an approximate figure of residents who weren't able to escape the flames. The cause of the fire was still under investigation.