Esporles, where a butane-gas bottle exploded. | Alejandro Sepulveda


A 72-year-old man suffered second and third degree burns to 30 per cent of his body yesterday after a butane gas bottle exploded in his second-floor apartment causing serious structural damage to the building near Esporles town hall.

The blast, which fire inspectors are certain was caused by a gas bottle, occurred just after 11.30am. According to the emergency services, the victim was alone in the apartment when the blast happened. A pedestrian passing the property when the explosion occurred in calle Joan Riutort suffered minor injuries. The 72-year-old’s dog also had to be treated for burns and stress by the local vet.

Sources for the fire services said that considerable damage had been done to the building. The apartment above collapsed and fortunately was empty at the time.

All of the residents of the affected building and neighbouring properties, including the town hall, were evacuated for their own safety while accident inspectors and engineers checked the buildings. The area was cordoned off by local police and the Guardia Civil and a major clean-up operation was mounted to remove all the debris which had been showered all over the street and neighbouring buildings. Some vehicles were also damaged.