Onstage pyro explosion kills Spanish singer
A woman has died after being hit by an exploding pyrotechnic device while performing at a festival in northern Spain.
Joana Sáinz García, 30, was onstage as part of the Super Hollywood Orchestra at the closing night of four-day festival in the town of Las Berlanas, 130 kilometres northwest of Madrid. It is believed the group were playing to a crowd of 1,000.
A pyrotechnic device exploded near the singer, knocking her unconscious. Sáinz García later died in hospital.
Local promoter Prones 1SL, who represents the group, says the “regrettable incident” was prompted by a manufacturing error.
The promoter’s managing director, Isidro López, told reporters that the performers had been working with the flare-like pyrotechnic devices for the past five to six years, setting off over 2,000 devices without experiencing any issues.
A tribute issued by Prones 1SL reads: “[Joana] always acted in an exemplary manner, both in her personal and artistic life. Her absence will be felt by all of us.”
The show was the last in a four-date run for the 15-member group, which includes dancers, singers and musicians.
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Pyrotechnic ban comes into force in UK
Possessing fireworks, flares or other pyrotechnics at music festivals and concerts is now illegal in Britain.
The Policing and Crime Bill 2017, which comes into force today, includes a section prohibiting the “possession of pyrotechnic articles at musical events”, a measure long campaigned for by the UK live music industry.
A “pyrotechnic article” is defined as “an article that contains explosive substances, or an explosive mixture of substances, designed to produce heat, light, sound, gas or smoke, or a combination of such effects, through self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions”, with the notable exception of matches.
The maximum sentence for violation of the new law, which brings live music in line with a similar ban at sporting events, is 51 weeks in prison. Artists and event promoters are excepted.