TRAGEDY struck a Three Kings parade when a man playing the role of Balthazar fell from a float, knocked his head and later died.
The 20-year-old was sitting on the float when a cable got tangled on his chair tipping him backwards.
The traditional procession in Nijar, Almeria, was immediately suspended as the young man was attended to and then rushed to the Torrecardenas hospital in Almeria city. Despite the efforts of medical staff he later died on Monday (January 5). Nijar council has announced three days of mourning for the victim.
The Three Kings parade is traditionally one of the highlights of the year for Spaniards, with processions being held in nearly every town and village across the country. Volunteers dress up as the Three Kings to celebrate Epiphany and to scatter sweets to children in crowds lining the routes.
It is not the first time tragedy has struck at a parade.
In 2006 a 55-year-old man playing the part of Gaspar was left paraplegic when his throne was also knocked off a float by a cable in the Sevilla province town of San Juan de Aznalfarache.
And in 2013 a six-year-old boy was killed after being run over by a float in Malaga as he scrambled to pick up sweets.