I’m not one to look for conspiracy theories, but news reports for the last 24 hours are enough to give one pause — and to awaken laten paranoia, too. Listed in order of more-recent-to-less-recent:
The front of the famous St. George Hotel (search) was devastated in the blast, with several balconies blown off. Along the Mediterranean corniche, at least 20 cars were in flames or destroyed, and the fronts of several other bulidings were heavily damaged, including a British bank and the landmark Phoenicia Hotel.
. . .
The explosion near the city’s waterfront shortly before noon shook buildings in the city center and was heard in outlying hills overlooking the Lebanese capital.
The brutal Muslim extremist group Abu Sayyaf claimed responsibility in a call between the explosions.
One blast, outside the Gaisano Mall in southern General Santos city, could be heard a mile away around 6:30 p.m., witnesses said. Police said at least three people were killed and at least 15 others were injured.
“The explosion took place without a fire towards 0700 (0600 GMT) on the bottom floor, and the structural damage is significant,” a police spokeswoman said.
The seven injured were taken to hospital for tests, she said. Two of them were theatre watchmen, LCI television said.
The facade of the building’s lower front collapsed in a heap of rubble, shattered glass and wood panelling. The basement, bottom and first floors were destroyed. The facade of the theatre’s upper floors though appeared intact.
The avenue where the theatre is located was closed to traffic.
An initial inquiry by workers from French gas company Gaz de France appeared to rule out a gas leak.
“The building is not supplied with gas, and there was no call because of the smell of gas,” a Gaz de France spokeswoman said. “Measurements taken at the theatre did not detect any trace of gas.”
Justice Minister Dominique Perben told Radio J it was too early to determine the cause of the blast
pall of brown smoke dominated Madrid’s skyline early on Sunday as officials said that a 31-floor office building in a central neighbourhood could collapse after the biggest fire in the Spanish capital’s history.
With the exception of three firefighters who were affected by fumes, nobody was known to have been hurt in the fire at the Windsor Tower, which broke out around 11:00pm Saturday (local time) when the building was empty.
The fire was believed to have been started by a short circuit on the 21st floor.
Barcepundit has comprehensive links to the Spanish media, and his own comments,
More seriously, it will be impossible to know until the fire is 100% extinguished and forensic experts go in. They’ll have to investigate not only the cause of the fire, but why hydrants and fire-extinguishing automatic systems didn’t work; even though there were renovations, the offices were working just the same. Hmmm.
Yes, you could say I’m paranoid.