Expatica news

Three die in balloon tragedy

23 April 2004

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – Three people were killed Friday when a balloon burst into flames and crashed to the ground.

The accident happened at a university campus near Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, in north-western Spain.

According to Xosé Baqueiro, head of security, the balloon took off from Vista Alegre and was part of show for the Xacobeo 2004 celebrations, the year-long festival celebrating the birth of St James.
The balloon’s pilot and two passengers were killed.

They all worked for a company linked to the festival.

The balloon caught fire soon after taking off.

Firefighters have launched an investigation to find out what caused the accident.

Witnesses said the three people in the balloon jumped out when the fire started.

Manuel Fraga, president of the Galician regional government, said one of those who died was Diego Criado del Saiz, who was from Valladolid, in western Spain.

The second victim was named as José María Vázquez, from Coruña, a city on Galicia’s Atlantic coast.

The third person has not been identified.

Speaking at a press conference, Fraga offered his respects to the families of the dead.

He added  one reason for the tragedy could have been the basket hit a chimney of a sports centre and caught fire.

It was not clear if the Galician government had subcontracted the balloon for the Xacobeo festival.

[Copyright  EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news