A fire has broken out in the Madrid clinic where King Juan Carlos of Spain is recovering from a hernia operation.The flames were caused by an explosion in the main wing of La Milagrosa Medical Centre, where oxygen supplies are kept. King Juan Carlos, who is staying in a different section of the hospital, wasn't affected by the drama and remained in his room as firefighters extinguished the flames.
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Spain's monarch is focused on making a full recovery from his most recent health setback. The king, 75, underwent a three hour-long operation on Sunday for herniated discs in his lower back. The palace announced the surgery had "proved entirely satisfactory" and it wasn't long before his wife, Queen Sofia, son Crown Prince Felipe and the extended family visited the hospital to check that all was well with the royal patriarch.
Juan Carlos is expected to spend at least a week in hospital before he is released to continue his recovery at Zarzuela Palace. He has undergone a total of seven operations, for an assortment of health problems, in the past three years. In April 2012, the royal underwent a hip replacement after falling during a controversial trip to Botswana.
Despite his health problems, the King retains his sense of humour. "Once again, once again," he said as he arrived for his latest surgery, smiling and waving to reporters through the open window of a dark SUV.
On January 5, the king turned 75. His landmark birthday was celebrated in his native country, where the monarch is respected for guiding Spain to democracy. Juan Carlos will be looking forward to 2013, after a tumultuous twelve months for the Spanish royal family.Notably absent amongst his party of hospital visitors was the royal's son-in-law,Iñaki Urdangarin
, the Duke of Palma, who was recently under investigation for corruption. The palace announced that during legal proceedings for the Urdangarin Case, Iñaki would not take part in official engagements.Accusations centre around the Noos Institute, Iñaki's non profit organisation that promotes sport and tourism. The claims suggest that he charged local authorities hugely inflated fees for organising events and siphoned off funds to his private companies.The Duke of Palma has been removed from the royal website while his case continues to be investigated.