News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
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Madrid rocked by Halloween night tragedyFour teenage girls killed in stampede at arena music fest
By Oliver McIntyre
FOUR teenage girls were killed and another woman seriously injured in a stampede at a Halloween night music fest in Madrid last week.
The tragedy occurred during a large Halloween-themed DJ party at the city's Madrid Arena pavilion, attended by around 10,000 young people.
According to investigators, at around 4am a flare and possibly also some firecrackers were shot off in a crowded access passageway inside the arena, causing panic as people attempted to flee what some of them might have mistaken for gunfire. nd detailed report on the origin and extent of the problem had been carried out. Similar action has also been taken by health authorities in Italy and Switzerland.
The stampede caused a large pile-up of people, causing injuries and asphyxiation to those trapped at the bottom, according to police investigations.
The four fatal victims were Katia Esteban, Rocío Oña and Cristina Arce, all 18 years of age, and a 17-year-old minor named as Belén L., who was hospitalised in critical condition and died two days later from her injuries. Another injured woman, María Teresa Alonso, 20, remains in hospital.
Police are investigating the incident and whether a lack of security measures as well as overcrowding may have been in part to blame. Some police sources as well as witnesses have indicated that attendees where not rigorously frisked or searched before entering the arena.
Madrid town hall, which owns the arena, said the company that rented out the venue for the event, Diviertt SA, had the appropriate permits and did not sell more tickets than the arena's 10,600 capacity.
Restaurant donates 150 meals to needyUsers of municipal soup kitchen and food programme to dine in style
By Oliver McIntyre
THE OWNER of a Benalmádena Pueblo restaurant is donating more than 150 meals at his establishment to users of the municipal soup kitchen and food programme.
Claus Baeunler, originally from Dusseldorf, Germany, launched the Longhorn restaurant just three months ago but decided it was already time to do something to give back to the community.
"I wanted to make clear that this is not just a business but that I want to be part of the Pueblo," he told CDSN.
He hit upon the idea of inviting some 150 users of the municipal food programme to dine at his establishment, at his expense.
"This was something we could do to help people in a difficult situation," he said.
Last Saturday the first group of 50 or so recipients were served lunch at the restaurant, which specialises in choice steaks and other select cuisine. Similar groups of 50 to 70 people will come to dine on November 17 and December.
Chemists arrested in false prescription scam23 doctors also named as suspects in the €500,000 fraud
By David Eade
TWO chemists and a pharmacy worker have been arrested and 23 doctors named as suspects in an alleged fraud involving bogus prescriptions for medications, which were billed to the public health system and then sold on the black market.
In October of last year a Marbella court ordered the investigation after the regional government's inspectorate of pharmacies raised the alarm. It had detected a high volume of sales of the drug Rubifen at a chemist shop in San Pedro de Alcántara. The drug is used to treat hyperactive children and its usage was far higher than the national average. The Guardia Civil were called in to investigate.
Working with the health service inspectorate the Guardia Civil discovered this was not the only drug involved. Apart from Rubifen there were also high sales of cancer-related drugs known to be used by athletes to enhance performance.
So far 23 doctors have been named as suspects for are alleged cooperation in this scam by not complying with the protocols to observe patients or revise their clinical history. It is reported that a large percentage of these doctors are employed in health centres in Marbella. Seventeen of them are Spanish whilst two are Italians and Cubans with one Rumanian and Serbian.
Mijas racetrack ‘cheated' out of lottery fundingTown hall says track is getting less than half its allotment, and could face closure
By Oliver McIntyre
MIJAS town hall has asked the tax minister to take action to put an end to the Hipódromo Costa del Sol racetrack getting cheated out of funding it should be receiving from the horseracing pools lottery.
Mayor Ángel Nozal says that the racetracks included in the Quiniela Hípica pools lottery are supposed to receive 80,000 euros per race held at their facilities, as their share of revenues from the Quiniela and television rights for the races.
However, under the current system in which the money is given by the state lottery office (LAE) to the Zarzuela racetrack in Madrid, which then distributes it to the other tracks, "we receive less than half - 39,000 for some races and 35,000 for others," explained the mayor in a letter to tax minister Cristóbal Montoro. The remainder is retained by Zarzuela to "cover its own deficit," he said.
A DOG'S TALEPooch rescued by Mijas firefighters make 'amazing' full recovery
By Oliver McIntyre
THE dog who featured on the front page of CDSN two weeks ago when he was rescued by Mijas firefighters after falling into a gully has made a full recovery, his owners have happily reported.
"We are pleased to confirm that Mitch has made a complete recovery from his traumatic experience," said owners Jan and Keith Denton.
"We would like to thank the teams of bomberos from the Mijas Fire Department for their kindness and concern and for their unstinting efforts in the recovery process. Mitch is a Mastin breed and weighs in at a solid 45 kilos - so it took a lot of muscle and sweat to bring him up a near vertical bank after recovering him from the dry river bed."
"We just can't thank them enough," said the pensioners, who have lived in Torreblanca since moving to the Costa from Rye in East Sussex in 1999.
The Dentons told how 11-year-old Mitch - who survived a stroke a couple of years ago - had sunk up to his chest in soft earth at the bottom of the arroyo, and suffered a slight heart attack or stroke while attempting to extricate himself.
Briton arrested for rubbish bin fireMijas police detain 28-year-old for blaze that caused 7,000 euros in damage
By David Eade
LOCAL police in Mijas have arrested a 28-year-old Briton who is alleged to have set fire to three waste containers. The two rubbish bins and one paper recycling container were located in La Cala. It is estimated that the damage caused by the blaze - which also affected a garden zone - is over 7,000 euros. The Briton, B.D.W., has been charged with causing damage and resisting arrest.
The incident took place at 2.25am on Saturday when the fire brigade and the local police received an alarm call via the 112 emergency centre. They were advised that various containers in Avenida de Andalucía at La Butibamba were ablaze.
A neighbour had alerted the 112 service of the fire and stated that a young man had started it deliberately. Two local police patrols closed the avenue and found a man who answered the description given by the witness. When he saw the officers he attempted to flee the scene on foot. The police gave chase and detained him by the nearby BP petrol station.