(Received 26 July 1999; accepted 4 April 2000)
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The use of commercial explosives is an unusual method of commiting suicide, and only a few cases have been described in the medicolegal literature. In this paper, two cases of suicide are considered that reflect backgrounds of financial problems and psychological illnesses, respectively. Both individuals comitted suicide by detonating an explosive (fireworks). In the first case putting the explosive on his head and in the second case into his mouth. In both cases the cause of death was the destruction of the central nervous system. The following cases emphasize the importance of the forensic pathologist in the recognition of the scene, as well as the systematical collection of trace evidence of the explosion for their subsequent study in the laboratory and their correlation with the autopsy findings.
National Department of Justice, Division of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia,
Stock #: JFS14983J