Pedrógão Grande deaths - negilgent homicide charges to be announced

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FirePedGrandeCarThe death of 66 people in last October’s devastating fire at Pedrógão Grande is to result in charges of negligent homicide against most, if not all of the defendants.

The fire was started in an area of tinder-dry vegetation underneath electrical cables, despite denials by EDP and REN, and spread rapidly in the heavily forested area.

There were numerous errors by those in charge of fire-fighting management allowing the flames to become uncontrollable, resulting in the death of 66 people.

The earlier lack of management of the forest allowed the fire to tear through the area, cutting off remote settlements and people trying to escape in vehicles, many of whom burnt to death.

These are some of the hard-hitting conclusions contained in the inquiry that, after nearly a year, points out those who are to blame for the succession of failures that caused the appalling loss of life.

According to a judicial source, the indictment is almost ready and should be completed within two weeks.

It is not known yet whether 64, 65 or 66 cases of negligent homicide will be levelled at the main defendants who were employed by the National Authority for Civil Protection. They each face a prison sentence if convicted.

The indictment from the Prosecutor's Office supports the thesis that these deaths were avoidable.

The Saturday edition of Expresso explains that there was fault attributable to the actions of several people responsible for various areas of operation. These errors allowed the fire to become uncontrollable.

‘Everything failed - the prevention, the combat and finally the protection of the population,’ reads the news article.

The Public Prosecution service’s charges are in line with the main findings of various reports into the fire such as the Independent Technical Commission, the Centre for Forest Fire Studies led by Professor Domingos Xavier Viegas and from the internal report from the National Authority for Civil Protection.


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