Pedrógão Grande fire was ‘started by an electrical discharge’ – concludes report
At least seven further defendants have been identified in a prosecution resulting from the great fire of Pedrógão Grande, last summer.
The investigation finally is over and has concluded that an electric discharge did cause the flames that turned into an inferno, killing at least 64 people and injuring at least 200.
EDP and Ascendi both have denied any role in starting the blaze which has been blamed on an electricity cable touching a tree.
All-in-all, nine defendants have been identified in the report in to the June 2017 fire. The Public Prosecutor’s Office is preparing to extend the list by adding the second in command of the Civil Protection service for Leiria and the Commander of the Firefighters of Pedrógão, plus at least another seven names.
Among them are the mayors of Pedrôgão Grande, Figueiró dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera, the areas most affected, who were in office at the time of the fires.
Two senior civil protection officials, EDP and Ascendi, also will be indicted, even after a legal opinion commissioned by Ascendi determined the two companies were not culpable.
All of the defendants in the case are suspected of negligent manslaughter and will soon be receiving their notifications though the post.
One of the conclusions is that an electric shock causes the fire that ended up consuming thousands of hectares of forest and took over a week to extinguish.
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