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Forest fires kill 25 in central Portugal

June 18, 2017 4:18 AM
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Forest fires kill 25 in central Portugal

The death toll in forest fires in Portugal has risen to 25, officials say.

The majority died while trying to flee the Pedrogao Grande area, 50 km (30 miles) south-east of Coimbra, in their cars, according to the government.

Several fire fighters are reported to be among about 20 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.

Secretary of State for the Interior Jorge Gomes earlier said that three people died from smoke inhalation and 16 died in their cars on the road linking Figueiro dos Vinhos to Castanheira de Pera.

The flames spread "with great violence" on four fronts, Mr Gomes said.

It is not yet known what caused the fire, which has also burnt down houses in the area.


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