Granadilla pays tribute to the victims of the greatest tragedy in its recent history, which occurred 60 years ago

Twenty-four candles and flowers pay homage this Friday, February 3, in the courtyard of the old Franciscan Convent of Granadilla de Abona (Tenerife), to the victims of the tragedy that took place 60 years ago. On the occasion of this anniversary, a small ceremony was held in the presence of the mayor, José Domingo Regalado González, and the parish priest of Granadilla, Jesús Pérez Báez.

The municipal regent dedicated a message of affection and affection to the victims and relatives of those who died in one of the greatest civil tragedies in Tenerife and which will remain forever in the collective memory of the people. For his part, the parish priest spoke a few words of consolation and in memory of all those affected by the incident.

Candles and flowers commemorate that fateful event on this day, next to the marble plaque where the names and surnames of those who died in the greatest catastrophe in the history of Granadilla de Abona are inscribed: Luis Villalba Flores, Manuel Rancel Martín, Isabel González, Victoria Gaspar González, María Mercedes Perera Hernández, Cecilia Delgado, Mercedes Rodríguez, Fernanda Oramas, María del Rosario Casanova, Consuelo Pimienta, Blanca Pimienta, Leonicia Torres, José Ramón García Vidal, Carmen Vidal González, José Toledo Rancel, Lorenza González, Carmen Casañas , Rosa Casañas, Ignacio Casañas, Soledad González, Rosa Quintero, Guadalupe Domínguez, María Esther Martín and José Martín González.

history of tragedy

According to the official chronicler of the municipality of Granadilla de Abona, Emiliano Guillén Rodríguez, it was 2:35 p.m. on Sunday, February 3, 1963, when the town of Granadilla suffered the worst catastrophe in its history, not only because of the large number of victims, but also because of the circumstances in which they perished. An estimable number of people had gathered in the old facilities of the old San Francisco barracks in order to obtain their identity card, because a team from the Ministry of the Interior had traveled to the municipality.

At that time it was raining and hailing heavily and many passers-by took refuge in the premises. It is estimated that some 1,300 people were inside the already long-lived mansion at the moment when part of the upper corridor of the cloister gave way, precisely where the dispatch tables were installed. The noise of the materials and people that fell into the inner courtyard on top of those gathered unleashed a situation of uncertainty and general panic among those present that degenerated into a tragedy, resulting in such a high number of victims. Most of them died from suffocation and crushing around the landing of the stairs that gave access to the street. The wounded exceeded one hundred and the dead were 24.

Knowing the terrible news, an aid device is activated and sets off towards Granadilla, moving ambulances, the Red Cross, the Civil Guard, medical teams and volunteers who leave from Santa Cruz, La Laguna and other places to assist the victims and transfer the injured to different health centers. The people of Granada collaborate by offering their houses, kitchens, blankets, human warmth and everything they have. The planes from the Aeroclub de Tenerife try to participate immediately, but the prevailing weather adversity prevents them from flying. A Tassa company plane lands at the El Médano aerodrome with the airport doctor to transport seriously injured.

After a long, gray, cold and sad night, the next day, a massive parade of coffins and people runs through the central artery of the Villa, on the way to the cemetery, where an estimated 20,000 people were among those attending the burial.

Now, on the 60th anniversary of such an unfortunate event, the people of Granadilla reiterate their deep gratitude to all those who were altruistically by their side in those difficult moments.

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