A wildfire is reflected in a stream at Penela, central Portugal. Pic/AFP
A forest fire raging since Saturday in central Portugal has killed at least 57 people, a government official said on Sunday, in what is possibly the deadliest-ever single forest blaze in Portugal.
"It is the greatest tragedy of human lives that we've witnessed in Portugal in years," said Prime Minister Antonio Costa. The government sent two army battalions to help the emergency services in the Pedrogao Grande area, and the European Union said it would provide firefighting aircraft. France has offered three planes and Spain has sent two planes already.
"It does not seem real, it is out of this world... It is an authentic inferno, we have never seen anything like that," said Valdemar Alves, mayor of Pedrogao Grande. Police said a lightning striking a tree probably caused the fire.
20 No. of villages affected in the forest fire
59 People injured and taken to hospitals
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