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Hoax bomb scare prompts evacuation of 57-story Madrid tower

Ambulances wait outside the Torrespacio skyscraper, right, as a jogger runs by in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, April 16, 2019, after the 57-storey office tower in Madrid's business district that houses several foreign embassies was evacuated due to an unspecified security threat. Staff at the Torrespacio skyscraper received around midday on Tuesday a phone call with the threat, a spokeswoman with the National Police said, prompting the tower's own security personnel to evacuate the building.(AP Photo/Paul White)

MADRID (AP) — A hoax bomb threat called in to the Australian Embassy in Spain prompted the evacuation of a 57-story office tower in Madrid's business district on Tuesday, Spanish police said.

Staff at the embassy in Madrid received a phone call with the security threat around midday on Tuesday, said a National Police spokeswoman who wasn't authorized to be identified by name in media reports.

She said police are investigating the call after deeming it a false alarm. The tower had been evacuated by the time police and emergency services arrived at the scene, she added.

The Australian Embassy tweeted that it would be closed for the rest of the day and until further notice.

At 235 meters (770 feet), Torre Espacio is one of four skyscrapers dotting the northern part of the Spanish capital's skyline. 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.