Hotel Corona de Aragón fire

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Corona de Aragón Fire
Date July 12, 1979 (1979-07-12)
Venue Corona de Aragón Hotel
Location Zaragoza, Spain
Coordinates 41°39′06″N 0°53′09″W / 41.6516°N 0.8859°W / 41.6516; -0.8859Coordinates: 41°39′06″N 0°53′09″W / 41.6516°N 0.8859°W / 41.6516; -0.8859
Type Fire
Deaths 80+

The Corona de Aragón Fire, was a fire that killed at least 80 people in the five star Corona de Aragón Hotel in Zaragoza on 12 July 1979. At the time of the event the Hotel lodged high-profile General Franco family members Carmen Polo, Carmen Franco y Polo and Cristóbal Martínez Bordiú, as well as many high-ranking military personnel, five of whom died in the fire.

Details of the fire investigation were not openly disclosed and the authorities insisted that it was an accidental fire.[1] But not long after the fire took place press reports voiced the opinion that ETA was the real culprit, but that its role was being silenced;[2] other sources described the event as an intentional attack.[3]

Controversy[edit]

The official version of events provided at the time by the Spanish government insisted that the fire had been started accidentally by an oil fire in the Hotel café. The Spanish Council of State explicitly stated that they did not consider the fire to be an act of terrorism. However, some details of the fire investigation leaked to the press, disclosing that Napalm traces had been found in the rubble. Moreover, some witnesses claimed to hear two explosions before the fire and a local newspaper (Heraldo de Aragón) received two phone calls claiming authorship in the name of ETA (m) and the FRAP.[4] The claim attributed to FRAP was unlikely, for the group was practically inactive after a number of its core members had been arrested in 1978.[5]

The Terrorism Victims' Association (AVT) asked for official recognition of the fire as a terrorist attack.[6]

In the year 2000, relatives of the deceased started to receive benefits as terrorism victims. According to El Mundo that was an implicit recognition of ETA authorship.[7] The Civil Guard website listed a high rank retired Civil Guard member deceased in the fire as a victim of ETA, and stated that many injured died after the fire, but were not included in the official account of 80 dead.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ El incendio del Corona de Aragón, fue provocado, según "El Alcázar"
  2. ^ "Misterio en el Corona de Aragón. Muchos situaron a ETA detrás del incendio que mató a 80 personas...En todo momento, las autoridades aseguran que se trata de un hecho fortuito, pero son muchos los que colocan a ETA detrás de este trágico suceso...En 2000, los familiares de los fallecidos comienzan a recibir las indemnizaciones... El estado asume así de facto la autoría de ETA" Cited from "El Camino de la libertad 2.1979", ISBN 978-84-92540-00-6, page 68. Published by "El Mundo"
  3. ^ Resultó herido en el atentado perpetrado contra el hotel Corona de Aragón, de Zaragoza, en 1979
  4. ^ Las víctimas del Corona de Aragón, indemnizadas en breve
  5. ^ FRAP - Grupo Armado
  6. ^ Hotel Corona de Aragón, hosted at the AVT website[dead link]
  7. ^ "En 2000, los familiares de los fallecidos comienzan a recibir las indemnizaciones...El estado asume así de facto la autoría de ETA" Cited from El Camino de la libertad 2. 1979, page 68. Published by "El Mundo"
  8. ^ Civil Guard website listing the Civil Guard retired high rank member died in the fire as an ETA victim