Young Priest Walked Out of Explosion – Now Dead

Father Rubén Pérez Ayala, 35, died in hospital a day after the January 20 gas explosion at 98 Calle Toledo in Madrid, Spain.

At about 2:55 p.m., local workers were repairing a damaged boiler in a building belonging to the Virgen de la Paloma parish. The boiler exploded causing a gas leak which resulted in a massive second explosion.

The seriously injured Father Pérez still managed to get out of the half-destroyed building on his own. Ordained a priest on June 20 in La Almudena cathedral, Pérez celebrated his first mass the following day precisely in Virgen de la Paloma parish. He belonged to the Neocatechumenal Way.

Workers have begun the controlled demolition of the five upper floors of the building. The explosion caused four fatalities and 10 injured.

Ayala received the last rites from his brother, who is also a priest.