Spanish businessman with grudge crashes car into Spain's ruling party HQ

Spanish businessman with grudge crashes car into Spain's ruling party HQ
A bankrupt businessman has driven a car containing gas cylinders into the headquarters of Spain’s ruling People’s Party (PP), which he blames for his misfortune.

The man, who has been identified by the media as Daniel Perez Berlanga, 37, from Teruel province in eastern Spain, is under arrest.

He is a businessman who lost all of his property and blames this on the party, according to a government spokesman cited by Reuters.

Spanish policemen and firefighters stand at the entrance of Genova street close to the Spanish Popular Party's headquarters after a man runned his car with two gas cylinders into the political party's building, in Madrid on December 19, 2014.(AFP photo / Gerard Julien)

After Berlanga’s car, reportedly a Citroën Xantia, crashed into the People’s Party office, police activated the so-called Circular 50 protocol, a plan of action in case of a possible terrorist attack. The scene of the incident was cordoned off, traffic on nearby streets stopped and a subway station closed.

Two gas bottles were found in the trunk of the car.

The businessman also claimed he had with him 15kg of the explosive substance ammonal and three timing devices, El Pais reported. He said the explosives were timed to go off in half an hour.

Initial analysis has however revealed no explosive substance in the car, only flammable one.

No one was injured in the incident, though one person inside the building nearly escaped being run over, according to Madrid’s former PP president, Esperanza Aguirre.

"One of the cleaners who was inside the building was extremely close to being run over because the car was being driven at an incredible speed," Aguirre told radio station esRadio, as cited by the Local.

Aguirre said the car broke through the glass front of the building and reached a staircase inside.