Portugal Forest Fires Kill 57 near Coimbra

Lisbon — A catastrophic forest fire in Portugal has

claimed at least 57 lives, the BBC said.

Most died while trying to flee the PedrogAPound o Grande area, 50 km

(30 miles) south-east of Coimbra, in their cars, according to the

government.

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.

Media in Portugal said the fire is no closer to being contained

despite about 600 firefighters working to put it out.

Among the 59 injured was an eight-year-old girl with burns found

wandering alone close to the fire, local newspaper reported.

Local media warned that many areas hit by the fire had not yet

been reached by authorities, so the death toll was likely to increase.

Spain has sent two water-bombing planes to help tackle the fires,

and the European Union is coordinating an international firefighting

and relief effort, the BBC reported.

Source: Oman News Agency

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