Singer, 30, killed after being hit by exploding fireworks during live performance at concert
A Spanish singer died during a live performance at a concert after a technical malfunction saw her get hit by exploding pyrotechnics. Joana Sainz Garcia, 30, from Santander, was performing with Super Hollywood Orchestra group in front of 1,000-odd spectators in the town of Las Bernalas, north-west of Madrid, when the tragic incident unfolded, according to the BBC.
Footage posted of the horrifying accident on social media shows firworks exploding near Garcia at around 2:00 am local time on Sunday, September 1, during what was supposed to be the closing event of a four-day festival.
The explosion knocked the 30-year-old unconscious, with a doctor and nurse in the crowd rushing to the aid of the singer before paramedics arrived at the scene. Paramedics transported her to a hospital in Avila for further treatment, but her injuries proved fatal. She was declared dead later that morning.
Garcia was reportedly the main dancer and choreographer for Super Hollywood Orchestra, a group of 15 which includes singers, musicians, and dancers. Prones 1SL, the agency that promotes the group, said the "regrettable" incident had been caused by a manufacturing failure.
Isidro López, the agency's owner, said that for the last five or six years, they had thrown out "a few cartridges of cold fire" at the end of acts to "give a little show." He said that they had thrown "more than 200 and nothing had ever happened" until now as it was controlled by the members of the orchestra through an electronic system.
He claimed that Garcia's death was because of a manufacturing defect. "When loading the cartridge, they put in another material and exploded the iron casing, which damaged Joana," he said.
The supplier of these materials, based in León, reportedly acquired the cartridges from a Catalan company. At the moment legal actions are not going to be initiated, and the Civil Guard will investigate the facts.
In a statement posted on their Facebook page, Prones 1SL said, "The whole Prones family, partners, artists, friends, collaborators are very sad and dismayed by the loss of our companion and friend Joana Sainz."
"She always showed exemplary behavior, both personal and artistic, in addition to a great human quality," they added. "It's going to be very difficult for all of us to overcome her absence. We will always remember you, Joana. R.I.P."
The local government of Las Berlanas similarly paid tribute to the singer.
"From the municipal corporation of Las Berlanas, and as representatives of all the people, we want to make our condolences to the family of Joanna, the girl of the super Hollywood group that yesterday passed away in our people, as well as to all their groupmates," a statement read.
"We also want to thank peñas and neighbors in general and all visitors for their good behavior in those difficult moments," the statement continued. "R.I.P Joana Sainz. You are in our memory."