Explosion in Fuengirola shopping mall sends expats and tourists fleeing

Published:  14 Jul at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, USA, UK, Euro, England
Hundreds of shoppers fled screaming after a loud explosion shook a crowded Fuengirola shopping centre.

British expats, tourists and locals ran for their lives after an explosion at the popular Miramar mall spiked fears of a terrorist attack on the Costa del Sol. The beachside resort located some 20 miles from Malaga has long been a favourite with British tourists and expats alike, thousands of whom live in or nearby the town.

The scene after the explosion showed men, women and children fleeing the site and fire trucks rolling up with their sirens blaring. Videos taken on smartphones recorded English voices screaming in panic and a voice asking in Spanish ‘what’s going on’, with the reply, ‘it’s a bomb’. The cause of the explosion, according to firefighters, wasn’t a bomb after all, it was the result of a fryer in the restaurant area catching fire and triggering an unusual alarm noise.

The loud sound started a panic and sent shoppers running for their lives across the car park onto a nearby grassed-over riverbank. According to the manager of the mall, there had been no need to officially evacuate the premises as shoppers had taken the evacuation into their own hands at great speed. Apparently, a kitchen was destroyed, along with part of the floor below, and just one person was treated for a sprained ankle.

Although the entire incident turned out to be ‘much ado about nothing’, it clearly demonstrated the increase in fear caused by the appalling number of terror attacks across Europe and in the UK during the past several years. Expats living along the Costa del Sol have, for years, considered the region one of the safest in Spain, if not the whole of Europe, although officials believe this may make it a target for terror attacks at some time in the future. A good number of Britons living in the area are retirees, and would find it difficult to clear an area safely during a genuine terror attack.
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