Portugal Fire — Catastrophic forest fire in Portugal, several people dead

Portugal Fire — Many died while trying to flee the Pedrógão Grande area, 50 km (30 miles) south-east of Coimbra, in their cars, according to the government.

______

LATEST UPDATE

Portugal on Sunday declared three days of national mourning, as the officials announced that they expected the toll to rise, NY Times reported.

Prime Minister António Costa described the blaze in the Pedrógão Grande area as “the worst tragedy in terms of human lives that we’ve known in recent years.”

Also, Jorge Gomes, the secretary of state for internal affairs, announced that most of the victims were caught in their vehicles on the road.

The blaze hit the mountainous area of Pedrogao Grande, Northheast of Lisbon, amid an intense heatwave and rainless thunderstorms. Hundreds of firefighters were battling to prevent the fire from spreading to more houses.

Portugal declares 3 days of national mourning as forest fire death toll rises to 62, reported Associated Press on Sunday.

FILE — TWITTER
FILE — TWITTER
FILE — TWITTER
FILE — TWITTER

Several firefighters are among the 59 people injured.

“Unfortunately this seems to be the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires,” said Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

The death toll could rise further, he said.

Secretary of State for the Interior Jorge Gomes said that three people died from smoke inhalation and 18 people travelling in four cars died on the road linking Figueiró dos Vinhos to Castanheira de Pera.