Three days of mourning in Portugal as 62 killed by deadliest forest fires in over 50 years
THREE days of mourning have been declared in Portugal as the death toll in the catastrophic forest fires has reached 62.
The Pedrogao Grande area, 120 miles north of Lisbon, has been aflame since last night.
Some 22 people burned alive in their cars as they tried to escape the inferno.
Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa said it is the ‘greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires.’
He warned that the death toll could rise.
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has offered Spain’s support after sending two water-bombing planes.
“Stunned by the tragedy in Pedrogao Grande,” he tweeted, “The Portugese people can depend on our solidarity, support and affection.”
Around 60 forest fires took hold across the country last night, with 1,700 firefighters called to put them out.
At least 54 people are said to be injured.
Two firemen are missing.
It comes as the Iberian Peninsula is experiencing extreme heat waves, increasing the risk of fires.