In Portugal, forest fire, escaping beyond the perimeter, killed 61 people and wounded dozens of others. Officials describe the fire as "the greatest tragedy of recent years."
At least 54 people were injured Saturday, including 8 firefighters and a child. According to Paulo Santos, officer operations and emergency situations with the National office for assistance in Lisbon, four firefighters was in critical condition Sunday.
The government declared 3 days of mourning. The head of the judicial police of Portugal, told reporters that the fire started by natural causes. "We were able to determine that the fire was started by dry thunderstorms," said josö? Maria Almeida Rodrigues, according to Portuguese news Agency Lusa. According to officials, some victims were burned in their cars when they tried to escape.
The fire reached the community, Pedrogao Grande, forcing the residents to leave the area to avoid fire. Pedrogao Grande is located about 120 miles North of Lisbon. "A machine couldn't get out, and people died in their cars," said interior Ministry spokesman Jorge Gomez.
Authorities said that the death toll could increase as officials of the fire inspection will inspect the affected villages. More than 700 firefighters and other emergency services fighting fires. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said that schools in the municipalities of Pedrogao, figueirö¨ and Castanheira will be closed "indefinitely", and exams will be postponed.
European countries come together to help Portugal. The European Commission stated that France and Spain have sent planes to help fight the flames.
sections: Accidents, World News