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Spain

Nearly 80 injured in gas explosion in Spanish town of Velez-Malaga

At least 77 people have been injured after a gas cylinder exploded in a cafe in the Spanish town of Velez-Malaga on the southern coast. Of those injured, five are in serious condition.

A spokesman for the Andalucia region's emergency unit said five people were being treated for serious injuries after the explosion at about 6 p.m. local time during a festival in the town, which is close to the popular tourist destination of Malaga.

The cause of the blast "could have been a gas leak," the town's mayor, Antonio Moreno Ferrer, told local reporters. He added that there was no danger of fire.

Of those injured, five are in serious condition. One person has already undergone an operation. The rest are suffering from mild injuries, including cuts and scratches, said the mayor.

Apart from the 77 people treated at the local hospital, another 20 people have been treated at a South Velez health center and have already been discharged.

Moreno Ferrer said "a gas leak, with overheating and fire" was the most likely culprit for the explosion. Currently, officials have no reason to believe that foul play was involved in the tragic incident.

The city's mayor went on to stress that an investigation would be conducted.

jbh/cmk (Reuters, Sputnik)