Monday, February 14, 2005

As I think everyone knows by now, a skyscraper in Madrid, the Windsor Tower, was completely gutted by fire over the weekend; the building was 32 stories, more than 300 feet tall. Yesterday afternoon it was finally declared under control; the building did not collapse, as was feared, but it will obviously have to be destroyed. The most important thing is that nobody was hurt, and, fortunately, the fire did not spread to any neighboring buildings such as El Corte Inglés.

The most important effects of the fire are that traffic in the area has shut down and offices in the area are closed down until Wednesday. Three subway lines are cut off as well as Madrid's central commuter train line from Chamartín to Atocha. The company most affected by the fire is the auditing firm Deloitte & Touche, the largest in Spain. They own Arthur Andersen. They occupied twenty stories of the building. These guys audited dozens of large companies, including 21 of the 35 listed on Spain's stock market index. Meanwhile, they still haven't decided what caused the fire, but it reached temperatures of over 800º C and took more than 200 firemen more than 24 hours to put out. The building was the property of the Reyzábal family and was insured for 84 million euros by Allianz. The conspiracy theories may begin.

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