Dozens killed as forest fire rages in central Portugal

June 19, 2017

A forest fire that engulfed villages in central Portugal has killed at least 57 people, trapping most of the victims in their cars, a government official said on Sunday.

Jorge Gomes, secretary of state for home affairs, said 54 people had been injured, five of them seriously, in the country’s worst forest fire disaster on record.

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

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

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