Sunday, 18 September 2011

Arboç suffers fatal human tower accident

Minyons de l’Arboç (Baix Penedès) have lost one of their founding members – 74-year old Ramon Rovira – in a tragic accident during a human tower exhibition in Montblanc (Tarragona province). The casteller was supporting another team – Castellers d’Esplugues - to build a 2d7 (torre de 7), when the construction collapsed and Ramon Rovira got a hard hit on his neck. This resulted in such serious damage on the spinal cord, that his life could not be saved.

Now the whole of Arboç is in grief, since this man was a well-known personality and involved in several aspects of local cultural life. At the same time, Ramon Rovira’s family had expressed their wish for the human tower exhibitions of this weekend to take place as planned; so they did and all of them were opened with pillars of mourning (pilars de dol) in honour of the dead casteller.

For whatever it is worth, my thoughts are with Ramon Rovira’s family.

Although castells are truly spectacular and might seem dangerous, fatal accidents are extremely rare and this is the first time in modern human tower history that the victim is a person in the base (pinya).

Last time the world of castellers lived a similar tragedy was in 2006, when 12-year-old Mariona Galindo died from the injuries she suffered when falling off the stem of a 4d9 assembled by her team, Capgrossos de Mataró. That incident speeded up the introduction of helmets for the children on the top levels.

After the latest accident, the co-ordinating body of all castellers team (CCCC - Coordindadora de les Colles Castelleres de Catalunya) has issued a statement stressing that a continuous process to improve safety standards is already in place. It also highlights that during the last 15 years, the number of human towers which collapse has been halved and now represent 3,5% of the approximately 7.000 castells built every season.

How Ramon Rovira could receive such a bad hit is being thoroughly investigated and we can rest accured that CCCC will come back with additional recommendations on how to develop and – above all – stick to already established safety rules.

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Read more in Catalan – Ara and 3deVuit

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Find here the first statement issued on this matter by CCCC (in Catalan).


Dolors Casellas said...

On Saturday, October 27 at 7 pm, there will be a panel discussion with the theme "The score in contests" by Francesc Piñas, the Colla Vella of Xiquets Valls, Carles Esteve, commentator casteller Peter Ferrando, world historian and president casteller Jury Tarragona Castells Competition and Joan Vallès as moderator, the Minyons member of l'Arboç.

Sunday October 28, at seven o'clock, on the premises of the Minyons (Street Hospital 13), will be the opening and unveiling of a plaque in honor of Ramon Rovira and Sanahuja, work created by the painter and sculptor Joan Tuset.

Then, at 12 noon in the Town Square, will be held the Diada Ramon Rovira I Sanahuja, starring Castellers of San Pedro and San Pablo, Guys Tower and the arbutus Minyons .

Erik Wirdheim said...

Dear Dolors,

Thank your for sharing this event information with the rest of us!