Spain: Madrid Explosion - Information Bulletin n° 4

Situation Report
Originally published
The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.

In Brief

This Information Bulletin (no. 03/2004) is being issued based on the needs described below reflecting the i n formation available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact

  • In Spain: Spanish Red Cross; Coordination Center + 34 902 222 92; email:
  • In Geneva: Eva Calvo; Federation Media Department; e-mail: ; phone: +41 22 730 4357
  • In Geneva: Zsolt Dudas, Regional Officer, Europe Department, email:; phone: + 41 22 730 4319; fax: + 41 22 733 0395
All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at

For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.

Medical teams:

- 52 ambulances mobilized.

- 2 mobile coordination centres (La Rioja, and Castilla and Leon) called to duty

- 26 transport vehicles.

- 480 volunteers.

- On 11 March first-aid was provided at the site of the blast, victims were rescued, the injured evacuated to medical centres, bodies collected and support aids distributed.

- Medical care services were set up for families at the IFEMA (Madrid's exhibition centre) and at South and M30 Mortuaries.

- The teams came from Madrid, Avila, Guadalajara, Segovia, Cuenca and Albacete.

Psychosocial support:

- 13 teams involved.

- 208 volunteers.

- Approximately 1,200 persons treated.

- 3,000 leaflets with recommendations on how to react to the events were distributed to victims, relatives and friends (available on Internet).

- Teams came from Madrid, Catalonia, Extremadura, Basque country, Navarra, Huesca, Huelva, Granada, Murcia, Avila, Segovia, Cuenca, Salamanca.

- Support was provided at: the IFEMA Pavilion, South Mortuary, M30 Mortuary, the mortuary in Alcala de Henares, Juncal sports complex at Alcala de Henares, cemetery at Alcala de Henares, the mortuary in La Paz, Forensic Medicine Institute, cemetery at Almudena, Gregorio Marañon Hospital, Clinical Hospital, 12 October Hospital, NH Alberto Aguilera Hotel, HUSA Princesa Hotel.

- Each psycho-social care team comprised 14 to 16 volunteers including psychologists, social workers, doctors, nurses and persons who provide comfort.

- These teams focused on:

* Support in identifying bodies.

* Support for families.

* Passing on available data.

* Caring for minors.

* Psychological support.

* Medical care for trauma.

* Facilitating contact with foreign relatives.

* Supply points.

* Channelling requests.

Forensic teams:

- Transfer of bodies for identification.

- With the participation of 80 volunteers.

Donations to Spanish Red Cross Blood Bank:

- Six blood collection stations were set up all day (1 March):

* Alcobendas.

* Plaza de Castilla.

* Campamento.

* Pablo Iglesias.

* Blood bank headquarters.

* Alcorcon Hospital Foundation.

- Nearly 1,000 bags/units were collected in one day, equivalent to four days donations.

- More than 2,800 persons donated in the following days.

Telephone coverage:

- In agreement with the Madrid Autonomous Community task force, phone calls from outside the Community were handled.

- The Coordination Centre was operation around-the-clock.

- 6,017 phone calls from relatives and friends were handled.

- 216 volunteers worked in 8-hour shifts.

- Types of calls:

* 4,223 requesting information on relatives.

* 1,293 offering help.

* 501 offering blood.

- 781 SMS were sent with information concerning relatives and friends.

- 345 persons were contacted and given special, personalized information on their relatives .

Coverage of events on 12 March:

- Presence in 34 provinces.

- 179 ambulances mobilized.

- 39 support vehicles.

- 1,182 volunteers.

- 24 ambulances, 10 support vehicles and 225 volunteers took part in Madrid Autonomous Community.

International Tracing:

- The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement's tracing service was called on.

- 60 requests were received from abroad.

- Requests came from Brazil, France, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, United Stated and New Zealand.

- Cooperation was established with the embassies of Morocco, Romania, Peru, France, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Dominican Republic and United Kingdom.

- All requests are currently being handled and information is being shared with the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in coordination with the Spanish authorities and the embassies.

Items provided for the operation

- 100 stretchers.

- 34 first aid kits.

- 250 body bags.

- 4 electric thermos bottles for warm drinks, providing 120 litres per hour.

- 40 large thermos bottles with a capacity of 560 litres.

- 2 field tents.

- Snacks were provided to 1,000 persons -- milk, coffee, biscuits, fruit juices, mineral water, etc., donated by the Carrefour Solidarity Foundation.

Mass media

- 17 Spanish Red Cross journalists.

- 652 interviews conducted.

- Mass media in 16 countries were catered to (Argentina, United States, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, France, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Brazil, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland).

- 6 press releases issued.

Red Cross work is carried out in coordination and collaboration with other bodies:

- At the planning level:

* Cabinet of the Ministry of the Interior.

* Technical Secretary General at the Ministry of the Interior.

* General Directorate for Civil Defence, Ministry of the Interior.

* Madrid Community task force.

* Madrid Community Health Advisory.

- At the operational level:

* Madrid emergency call centre 1-1-2.

* Madrid municipality emergency services.

* Madrid Community emergency services.

* Madrid municipality local police.

* National police.

* Madrid municipal firemen.

* Madrid community firemen.