In Portugal, declared three days of mourning. The country mourns dozens killed in six unprecedented in the modern history of Portugal fire, which Prime Minister Antonio Costa, called «the greatest tragedy that we have seen in recent years in the sense of forest fires». The Prime Minister also warned countrymen that the number of victims of the fire element can grow.
In the Iberian Peninsula last week ruled the real summer heat. In some areas of Spain and Portugal, the thermometer rose above 40°C. in Summer, southern Europe in General and Portugal in particular almost every year suffer from forest fires. Last year, for example, fire destroyed, in Portugal forests on the area more than 10 km2. The fires on the popular tourist island of Madeira in August 2016 3 people died.
Only on Saturday evening and in the night from Saturday to Sunday in Portugal there were about 60 forest fires. To fight the fire were thrown 1700 firefighters. The large fire broke out in pedrógão Grande and surrounding municipality located about 200 km North-East of Lisbon. The disaster has claimed dozens of lives, hundreds of people lost their homes and property. There was some confusion with the number of victims. Initially, it was announced that 62 of the victims, but the Prime Minister Costa said that one victim counted twice. However, the Minister of internal Affairs Constanza Urbano de Sousa corrected the chief. As of Sunday evening, the death toll reached 62. In any case, these figures are not final. Police and fire are now thoroughly searched the rubble in search of victims.
Many people died in their cars. They tried to get out of the fire of the village on the car, but the road leading through the forest, turned into a fiery Inferno. According to the head of the Ministry of internal administration of Portugal Jorge Gomes, 22 people burned in their cars on the road between Figueroa DOS Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera. Another three people died, poisoned by smoke.
Injured more than 50 people. 18 of them were taken to the Metropolitan hospital, and in hospitals of Porto and Coimbra. The lives of five of them: four firefighters and a child is in danger.
The mayor Pedrogao Grande Waldemar Alves in the literal sense of the word «murdered» number of victims: «because Of the forest, we often fire, but no one can remember a tragedy of this magnitude».
The cause of the fire, said Jorge Gomes, could be a dry storm, because of which the wall of fire was moving in all directions with great speed. Power, at least at this stage is considered the cause of the fire natural. Most likely, the fire broke out after a lightning strike, along with squally winds often accompany dry thunderstorms. Found a tree that was struck by lightning.
Hundreds of firefighters still fighting the fire in Pedrogao Grande and in other places where so far, fortunately, without victims. Neighbors immediately helped the Portuguese help: Sunday morning, Spain has sent to fight the fire, two aircraft, and France – three.
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also visited the district of Leiria, to which Pedrogao Grande, and met with the families of the victims. The pain of the people and the country, he said, knows no boundaries.
The players of the Portuguese national team participating in the confederations Cup. Wednesday night they will play in Moscow with the hosts. Cristiano Ronaldo with his friends, expressed «deepest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims of the fires.»