View Full Version : Madrid tower burns

February 13th, 2005, 01:52 AM
Photos from http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=67748





MADRID, Spain (AP) - A raging fire swept through the upper levels of a 32-story office building in downtown Madrid early Sunday, melting the structure like a candle and collapsing the top six floors in a shower of flaming debris.

TV footage showed bright orange flames shooting out the sides of the Windsor Building, believed to be empty and located near one of Madrid's main boulevards. The fire started around 11:30 p.m. Saturday and was still burning out of control more than two hours later.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known, but emergency services spokesman Javier Ayuso said firefighters believed it might have been a short circuit in the upper half of the edifice.

Firefighters and police evacuated nearby buildings and streets for fear of a total collapse, and Ayuso said three firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation and exhaustion.

At least nine stories of the upper part of the building were on fire.

The Windsor Building was built in 1973 and is a landmark structure in Madrid's business district. It was surrounded by scaffolding due to recent repairs, Ayuso said.

February 13th, 2005, 03:10 PM
Well this sucks. They will probably have to demolish this building now. Seeing 9/11, however, this incident pales in comparison, especially since nobody died and because this building is short (by NYC standards). I wonder if they'll replace the Windsor?

TLOZ Link5
February 13th, 2005, 04:08 PM
Apparently, the Windsor Building had just been renovated last year.

Oh, the irony of ironies...

February 13th, 2005, 06:39 PM
Apparently no fine piece, but with some character. Shame. Obviously when there's death and serious injury it has a whole other dimension.

TLOZ Link5
February 13th, 2005, 09:04 PM
It's all too obvious now that the whole building is a total loss. Thank God that no one was inside when the fire started.

TLOZ Link5
February 15th, 2005, 06:36 PM
NY Times blurb says the building will be demolished.

February 15th, 2005, 08:44 PM

No sprinklers in gutted skyscraper

Feb 16, 2005

The Madrid skyscraper that burned at the weekend did not have automatic sprinklers on the floor where the blaze started, the daily El Pais newspaper said, quoting a city hall official, while a city councillor warned the shattered edifice might still collapse.

The newspaper said the 21st floor of the 31-storey Windsor Tower in Madrid's financial centre, where the fire started, was devoid of firefighting equipment, which had been in the process of being installed since 2003.

According to Madrid safety regulations, only buildings where people can go to a floor higher than 100 metres have to be equipped with automatic sprinklers.

The Windsor Tower was 106 metres tall but the highest point that people could reach was 96.7 metres.

Pedro Calvo, city councillor with responsibility for security affairs in the Spanish capital, said that there remained a danger the building in the heart of Madrid's financial district might collapse.

Calvo told a news conference a plan was being drawn up to evacuate people living and working nearby if the skyscraper did come tumbling down.

The area in the immediate vicinity has been cordoned off with debris still falling.

"Thermal cameras show a gradual drop in temperature" inside the burnt out shell, where temperatures reached 1,000 degrees Celsius at the height of the blaze, the worst Madrid has known, Calvo said.

City authorities hoped firefighters would soon be able to get inside the shell of the structure to get a clearer idea of the risk of collapse.

El Pais said the building's first 12 floors had been equipped with an anti-fire system but the extinguishers had not yet been installed when the fire broke out overnight.

Madrid Mayor Alberti Ruiz-Gallardon said the gutted building would have to be destroyed.

Newspapers said the operation would probably take a year and could cost some* 22 million euros ($28.6 million).


BI Daily News

Allianz, Mapfre cover destroyed skyscraper

by Gloria Gonzalez
Posted on Feb. 15, 2005 3:38 PM CST

MADRID, Spain—A Madrid skyscraper that was destroyed by fire over the weekend is insured by units of Corporacion Mapfre S.A. and Allianz A.G. Holding.

Madrid, Spain-based Mapfre said its Mapfre Industrial unit has a 40% coinsurance share in the property insurance policy covering the Windsor Building in Madrid and that its reinsurance unit is among the reinsurers of the policy.

Based on an initial damage estimate, Mapfre reported its total exposure at about $10 million euros ($12.87 million), net of reinsurance and retrocessions.

A spokesman for Allianz Seguros, the Spanish subsidiary of Munich, Germany-based Allianz, said it is still assessing the damage but will be able to meet its obligations under the insurance policy.

February 15th, 2005, 10:10 PM
No sprinklers below 100 Meters? WTF is wrong with these people! What are the NYC building codes regarding skyscrapers and automatic sprinklers?

February 15th, 2005, 10:42 PM
Quit being so uptight, it's siesta time!

February 18th, 2005, 06:52 PM
Hanging robots to help demolish gutted Madrid tower

Image (http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsPhotoPresentation.aspx?type=worldNews&imageID=2005-02-17T151534Z_01_DEN754737_RTRUKOP_0_PICTURE0.xml)

18 Feb 2005 16:10:31 GMT
Source: Reuters
MADRID, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Robots suspended from cranes will help demolish the skeleton of one of Madrid's tallest buildings destroyed by a weekend fire because the ruin is too dangerous to be handled by workers, city authorities said on Friday.

Demolition of the 32-storey skyscraper in the heart of Madrid, which is poised above four underground train lines, a major road and a vast department store, still presents unknown difficulties.

An alternative proposal to blow up the building in a controlled demolition, after first filling the network of subterranean road tunnels below it with sand, had been rejected as too risky, the city hall said.

"We've ruled out a total collapse of the building, but not partial collapses," the city hall's head of building control, Emilio Garcia de Burgos, told a news conference.

The 106-metre (350 foot) high Windsor building, Madrid's eighth tallest tower, was reduced to a peeling, blackened ruin by the biggest blaze in the city's history last weekend.

It is now too unstable to send workers in so it will be demolished by cranes from the top down, with giant neoprene sheets in place to catch falling debris, Garcia de Burgos said.

"We have never had to work in these conditions before," he added.

Robots will be used to help cut up the sagging concrete and steel structure, he said, adding that demolition should be finished within 12 months.

The construction company in charge of carrying out the work, under city hall direction, described the job as unusual rather than plain difficult.

"It's unusual, emblematic because of its height, its location, the way it is embedded in the city and the lack of space around the building," said Julio Miquel, secretary general of the company, Ortiz Construcciones y Proyectos.