Explosion at Madrid building leaves three dead

An explosion in the Spanish capital, Madrid has killed three and caused a building to partially collapse.

A fourth person was reported missing.

City officials said the explosion caused by a gas leak destroyed all the four floors of the building.

Mayor José Luis Martínez Almeida told reporters after the blast that a fire was raging inside the building, which belongs to the Catholic Church.

The blast happened shortly as gas workers were repairing a boiler at the back of the building in the central Puerta de Toledo area of Madrid.

Spanish reports said the upper floors affected were being used to house local priests.

Rescue workers evacuated more than 50 people from a care home next-door to the building in Caille de Toledo, but a school on the other side was closed at the time of the blast.

Images showed smoke billowing and debris strewn along the street.

Emergency services said nine fire crews and 11 ambulances were at the scene and some of those caught up in the blast were treated on the street.