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Catalan separatists win control of regional government

Credit: Reuters

Separatist parties have won control of Catalonia's regional government, putting mounting pressure on Spain's central government to grant a referendum for independence for the region.

The main pro-independence party "Junts pel Si" (Together for Yes) won 62 seats in the 135-strong assembly while smaller leftist party CUP won another 10 seats, official results showed. Together, they won 47.33% of the vote.

"Catalans have voted yes to independence," acting Catalan regional government head Artur Mas told supporters after 70% of the vote was counted.

"We ask that the world recognise the victory of Catalonia and the victory of the yes."

Both parties have said that they will unilaterally declare independence within 18 months, although the central government in Madrid says it will block the move in court.


Six people killed in rally car crash in Spain

The wreckage of a car is shown at the scene of the crash. Credit: RTV

Six people have been killed and several others injured in a rally crash in northern Spain.

A driver lost control during the Coruna rally in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia and skidded off the track killing four women, one of whom was pregnant, and two men. About a dozen people were hurt.

"One of the drivers took the track at a much higher speed than he should have and he veered off a curve, slamming into around 20 people," a Civil Guard spokesman said.

Local media reported that the driver and co-driver were unharmed although the spokesman was unable to confirm that information.

"The Coruna Rally is in mourning. My deepest condolences to the bereaved and wishes for a complete recovery of those injured," Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who is from Galicia, said on his official Twitter feed.

Teenager dies in Spanish bungee jump accident

A dutch teenager has died while bungee jumping in northern Spain.

The 17-year-old was taking part in a jump run by an adventure company near a viaduct in Cantabria yesterday when emergency services say she "fell from the jumping area", falling 40m into a dry riverbed below.

The dutch teen died after falling from a bungee platform near a viaduct in Cantabria Credit: RTV

The teenager's death comes one month after a 23-year-old British woman died while bungee jumping near Granada, southern Spain.


Bungee jumping is still a safe activity, says expert

Experts say bungee jumping is still safe after a British student died while reportedly doing the activity abroad.

Kleyo De Abreu was killed yesterday as she jumped off the Tablate Bridge in Lanjaron, Granada.

Andy Ridell, technical director of the UK Bungee Club, said she could have been taking part in bungee jumping or bridge swinging but "in general both activities, if well run, are safe".

He told ITV News: "Make sure the operators are reputable. They should have good reviews.

"Look at the crew, are they all in uniform? Look at the checks they are making. If a harness has been fitted, does someone else come and recheck it. Look at the equipment. Do you have a back up harness in case one fails?

"These are all tell-tale signs of whether an operation is safe and whether to go ahead."

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