Sunday, June 18, 2017

Huge forest fires in Portugal kill at least 57 people

At least 57 people have been killed in huge forest fires in central Portugal, many dying in their cars as they tried to flee the flames.

Portugal ablaze.
Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, described the blazes – which have injured dozens more people – as “the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires”, and warned the death toll could rise.

Several hundred firefighters and 160 vehicles were dispatched late on Saturday to tackle the fire, which broke out in the municipality of Pedrógão Grande before spreading fast.

Spain dispatched two water-bombing planes on Sunday morning to aid the Portuguese fire service, while France sent three aircraft.

The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, promised to provide any assistance necessary, tweeting: “Stunned by the tragedy in Pedrógão Grande. The Portuguese people can depend on our solidarity, support and affection.”

Read the story by Sam Jones on The Guardian - “Huge forest fires in Portugal kill at least 57 people.”

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