Hoax bomb scare prompts evacuation of 57-storey Madrid tower

Ambulances wait outside the Torrespacio skyscraper after the 57-storey office tower in Madrid's business district that houses several foreign embassies was evacuated due to an unspecified security threat

Ambulances wait outside the Torrespacio skyscraper after the 57-storey office tower in Madrid's business district that houses several foreign embassies was evacuated due to an unspecified security threat

A skyscraper housing embassy in Madrid was evacuated on Tuesday after a bomb threat was received by telephone at the Australian embassy there, a police spokesperson said.

Emergency services have been scrambled to the scene, in Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid, including police and the fire service. Apart from the Australian legation, it houses the embassies of the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands, as well as offices of several multinational companies. "Police are investigating the origin of the call", police later tweeted after searching the building. Police helicopers are now flying over the Spanish capital. Evacuation has started, we have to work and do checks.

Chief Inspector Jose María Benito reportedly told Telemadrid the alert was not due to a genuine bomb threat. "Apologies for any inconvenience".

Local media reports said the alert had been raised in the Australian Embassy just after midday local time.

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Roads around the skyscraper had also been closed, with emergencies services evacuating the building within 15 minutes.

But a short while later, the Spanish police said the bomb threat was false.

"Finally, it has been determined that the threat was false".

Police were said to be clearing Torre Espacio, Spain's fourth highest skyscraper and the 24th highest in Europe, floor by floor this afternoon.

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