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Portugal Fire: 62 killed as blaze rages on (video)

Written by: Razman F | 19 Jun 2017 00:34
The death toll is expected to rise as fires are still raging on
Written by:
19 Jun 2017 00:34
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At least 62 people have died in a wildfire in central Portugal, and with the fire still raging the death toll is expected to rise.

Many of the victims died after being trapped in their cars by flames as strong winds drove the blaze beyond firefighters’ control.

UK’s The Telegraph reports that the Portuguese government has declared three days of national mourning from Sunday through Tuesday for the victims of the fire .

The death toll is expected to rise as the blaze is still raging in the wooded mountain area of Pedrogão Grande, south of Coimbra.

Four of those killed were children while two firefighters are missing and four more hospitalised in serious condition.

Government officials said 16 of the casualties had been killed when flames engulfed their cars as they drove along a local road.

The fire, the cause of which remains unknown, started at around 2pm on Saturday.

Some 500 firefighters continued to battle the blaze.

“It’s the biggest tragedy in recent years,” said Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa. “We have to find out what happened.”

Many parts of Spain and Portugal have been hit by a heatwave in recent days.

The temperature in Pedrogão Grande reached 38ºC on Saturday and is predicted to touch 40ºC on Sunday.

The death toll so far is the largest due to a wildfire in Portugal since 1966, when 25 soldiers were killed battling a forest blaze in the forest of Sintra, near Lisbon.

 

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