A forest fire has killed 58 people in the Pedrógão Grande area of Portugal. About 30 of the victims were burnt to death in their cars while others who suffered similar fates were said to be close to the scene of the fire. Scores of people including
firefighters sustained injuries.
Many areas hit by the fire had not yet been reached by authorities, so the death toll was likely to increase.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa described the catastrophic incident as “the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires”.
Media in Portugal said the fire is no closer to being contained despite about 600 firefighters working to put it out, the British Broadcasting Corporation said in its report.
It was reported that about 60 forest fires broke out across the country overnight, with close to 1,700 firefighters battling them across Portugal.
Spain has sent two water-bombing planes to help tackle the fires, and the European
“This is a region that has had fires because of its forests, but we cannot remember a tragedy of these proportions,” Valdemar Alves, the mayor of Pedrógão Grande, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press agency.
“I am completely stunned by the number of deaths.”