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Man Jumps to His Death After Fireworks Accident Kills Son, 7 Others

August 22, 1989

ALICANTE, Spain (AP) _ A man distraught by the explosion of a fireworks-laden car that killed his son and seven others jumped to his death from a six-story building Tuesday, police said.

Joaquin Rigal Martinez had been questioned Sunday about the explosion the previous day, according to a police spokesman in this southeastern Mediterranean port city.

Rigal Martinez, 55, had been depressed about the accident, the spokesman quoted neighbors as saying.

Alicante province Civil Governor Pedro Valdecantos said the elder Rigal and his son distributed fireworks for a factory, Pirotecnica Levantina, which had been ordered closed Aug. 3 for safety violations.

The blast occurred in the parking lot of a supermarket in the San Juan suburb of Alicante, killing Rigal’s 22-year-old son; a 23-year-old passenger in the car; and six other people. Thirty were injured, two seriously.

The blast, initially believed to be a terrorist car bombing, has provoked a national debate about fireworks and safety regulations involving them.

Thousands of patron saint festivals in towns and cities across Spain, particularly in the summer, include huge fireworks spectaculars.

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