US News Dozens killed in Portuguese forest fires

11:00  18 june  2017
11:00  18 june  2017 Source:   Sky News

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Image: Around 600 firefighters are battling the flames raging in the Pedrogao Grande area.

On its mainland, Portugal is also fighting dozens of forest fires . (10.08.2016). At least 24 people were killed in central Portugal on Saturday after a forest fire swept across a roadway near the area of Pedrogao Grande, 200 km (124 miles) south of Lisbon.

A forest fire is seen near Tojeira, Pedrogao Grande, in central Portugal, June 18, 2017 © Reuters A forest fire is seen near Tojeira, Pedrogao Grande, in central Portugal, June 18, 2017

Dozens of people have died in a number of forest fires in central Portugal, as temperatures pass 40C. 

The Portuguese government says the number of dead is now 39, with many dying in their cars as flames swept over a road.

Interior Ministry official Jorge Gomes said 16 people died in their cars between the towns of Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera and three people died from smoke inhalation in Figueiro dos Vinhos.

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

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Some 60 forest fires broke out overnight on Saturday, as temperatures passed 40C in several regions. A number of villages have been evacuated due to the danger but the extent of damage to property is not yet clear. (c) Sky News 2017: Dozens killed in Portuguese forest fires .

At least 24 people were killed in central Portugal on Saturday after a forest fire swept across a roadway near the area of Pedrogao Grande, 200 km (124 miles) south of Lisbon. Prime Minister Antonio Costa warned that the number of victims could rise.

"The number of fatalities could still rise.

"The priority now is to save those people who could still be in danger."

The view of the blaze from the village of Mourisco © Reuters The view of the blaze from the village of Mourisco A period of national mourning will be announced shortly, Mr Costa said.

About 20 people have been injured, 14 of them seriously.

Around 600 firefighters are battling the flames raging in the Pedrogao Grande area, which is about 93 miles northeast of the capital Lisbon.

Six firefighters are among those injured.

Spain has sent two water-bombing planes to help their neighbour fight the fires.

Some 60 forest fires broke out overnight on Saturday, as temperatures passed 40C in several regions.

A number of villages have been evacuated due to the danger but the extent of damage to property is not yet clear.

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