Estepona Spain: Two Released on Bail over Laguna Village Blaze

Two Spanish nationals, a man and a woman, have been released on bail pending a date to be set for trial over charges of arson due to gross negligence, criminal damage, and fraudulent use of the electricity supply.

THE Court of Instruction number 2 of Estepona, agreed yesterday to provisionally release the two people arrested in relation to the fire that occurred in a shopping centre, Laguna Village, in the municipality. Bail conditions mean they have an obligation to appear on days one and 15 in court, have their passports seized, and are forbidden to leave Estepona.

The fire destroyed a shopping centre, damaged a nearby hotel and some houses in the town last weekend.

Those investigated, a man and a woman aged 43 and 51, respectively, both of Spanish nationality, were arrested for their alleged responsibility in the crimes of arson due to gross negligence, damage and fraud in the electricity supply.

Technicians working for the police concluded that an electrical failure in an electrical appliance located in a hut built in a field area near the Padrón River would have caused the fire that was spread rapidly by the wind. image: National Police Estepona

The hut was supplied with electricity through an illegal connection to the main power grid, located about 100 metres away, the power cable running through the land. The fraudulent down payment to switch on the supply initially would have been made by the couple, according to the investigators.

No estimates on the actual cost of the damage caused by the fire have yet been made public. It was originally thought the fire was caused by a local farmer burning a beehive down and that the embers had been carried across the motorway to the shopping centre and hotel. Forensic investigators from Estepona police eventually discovered what they believe the root cause of the blaze – an overloaded power cable.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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