43 Killed, 59 Injured In Portugal Forest Fire

| June 18 , 2017 , 14:51 IST

At least 43 people have been killed and 59 others in a massive forest fire in the Pedrogao Grande area of Portugal. Many died while fleeing the area, government officials said.

The 59 injured include several firefighters and according to the Prime Minister Antonio Costa, the death toll could rise further.

"Unfortunately this seems to be the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires," said Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

As per local media, the fire is no closer to being contained.

Around 60 forest fires broke out across Portugal on Saturday night with nearly 1,700 firefighters being called in, to the battle the blazes.

The fires spread across four fronts near the Pedrogao Grande, Secretary of State for the Interior Jorge Gomes said.

To help Portugal control the fires, Spain has sent two water-bombing planes.

Although the cause of the fires is yet unknown, PM Costa says that thunderstorms could be one of the possible reasons.