False alarm: workers return to Madrid skyscraper housing UK embassy after fake bomb threat

A Madrid skyscraper housing the British, Dutch, Australian and Canadian embassies was evacuated on Tuesday midday over a bomb threat. Spanish police have now said it was a false alarm.

False alarm: workers return to Madrid skyscraper housing UK embassy after fake bomb threat
Photo: AFP

Update 2.30pm: Torre Espacio's approximately 2,000 workers have been told by Spanish police they can return to their workspaces after finding no explosive devices hidden in the skyscraper. 

Madrid authorities have confirmed that a malicious phone call alerting Australian embassy staff of an alleged bomb was made at around midday Tuesday local Madrid time. 


Spanish National Police have evacuated Madrid skyscraper Torre Espacio, one of the four iconic towers along the Spanish capital’s Paseo de la Castellana avenue, following an alleged bomb threat at the Australian Embassy.

The Australian embassy said on Twitter that it would “remain closed for the rest of today, Tuesday 16 April, until further notice.” 

TEDAX bomb disposal officers are currently using sniffer dogs and following protocol. 

“We urge any person inside the building or in the vicinity to follow the instructions given out by security personnel”, Madrid Municipal Police said on social media.

Traffic has been diverted and pedestrian access cut off along the emblematic upmarket avenue of La Castellana, as it is commonly known. 

With a height of 235 metres (770 feet), the 57-storey Torre Espacio building is one of four skyscrapers that makes up a business park in northern Madrid (pictured in the photo below on the far-right hand side).

Aside from housing several embassies, the skyscraper is also the home of of Spain's Banking Association (AEB) and the headquarters of big names such as Red Bull and Equifax, taking the building's total occupancy rate to 90 percent.

More to follow


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Madrid police end escaped camels’ night on the town

Eight camels and a llama took to the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police said on Friday.

A camel in a zoo
A file photo of a camel in a zoo. Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

It was not immediately clear how the long-legged runaways managed to get out but Quiros Circus, which owns them, blamed sabotage by animal rights activists.

They were spotted at around 5:00 am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to where the circus is currently based.

“Various camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid overnight,” Spain’s national police wrote on Twitter, sharing images of eight two-humped camels and a llama hanging around a street corner.

“Police found them and took care of them so they could be taken back safe and sound,” they tweeted.

There was no word on whether the rogue revellers, who are known for spitting, put up any resistance when the police moved in to detain them.

Mati Munoz, one of the circus’ managers, expressed relief the furry fugitives — Bactrian camels who have two humps and thick shaggy coats – had been safely caught.

“Nothing happened, thank God,” he told AFP, saying the circus had filed a complaint after discovering the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut.

“We think (their escape) was due to an act of sabotage by animal rights groups who protest every year.”

Bactrian camels (camelus bactrianus) come from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and have an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.

These days, the vast majority of them are domesticated.