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Portugal forest fire victims die in their cars as flames engulf road

Portugal forest fire victims die in their cars as flames engulf road”

Other 54 people were injured, including four firefighters and a seriously injured minor, Gomes told state broadcaster RTP.

The Correio do Manhã warned that many areas hit by the fire had not yet been reached by authorities, so the death toll was likely to increase.

The mayor of Pedrogao Grande, Valdemar Alves, said that some villages had been "completely surrounded by flames" as quoted in the Publico newspaper.

The fire, which has yet to be controlled, is already one of the deadliest forest fires in Portugal in decades.

The BBC quotes Gomes as saying around 30 of the victims died when their cars were caught up in the flames on the road between Castanheira de Pera and Figueiro dos Vinhos, with another 17 dead next to their vehicles.

The commission said France had offered the use of three planes, which "will be quickly sent to assist the local emergency efforts".

Numerous victims died as they tried to flee the fire northeast of Lisbon in their cars.

The number of people killed in the wildfire southeast of Coimbra, Portugal has risen to at least 62, according to the BBC.

A forest fire is seen near Bouca, in central Portugal, June 18, 2017.

Fires on the tourist island of Madeira in August killed three people, while over the course of 2016 around 40 homes were destroyed and 5,400 hectares of land burned.

Also, Spain says it is sending two water-dumping aircraft to help neighboring Portugal fight the blaze that has raged since Saturday night.

Mariano Rajoy has tweeted that he is "overwhelmed by the tragedy at Pedrogao Grande".

He said investigations are ongoing to determine the cause, but authorities believe the high temperatures may have played a part.

President Marcelo Rebelo went to the Leiria region to meet families of the victims, 'sharing their pain in the name of all the Portuguese people, ' he said.

Gomes gave a grim description of the deaths to RTP.

On Saturday, a wildfire spread onto the town of Pedrogao Grande, about 120 miles north of Lisbon.

Many world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, Pope Francis and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have expressed solidarity with Portugal.



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