Another fire horror! 45 dead in central Portugal as forest fires "with great violence" explode during heatwave of 40 C (104 F)

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    Photo elperiodico.com
    After a horrendous tower block in London killed more than a 100 people earlier this week another tragedy is unfolding in central Portugal
    The death toll in forest fires in central Portugal has risen to almost 50 and expected to rise, says Prime Minister Antonio Costa.
    The majority died while trying to flee the Pedrogao Grande area, 50 km (30 miles) south-east of Coimbra, in their cars, according to the government. Several fire fighters are reported to be among about 20 people injured.
    “We are witnessing a terrible tragedy.
    So far, 45 deaths are confirmed and the death toll may rise further,” said Mr Costa.
    Secretary of State for the Interior Jorge Gomes earlier said that three people died from smoke inhalation and 16 died in their cars on the road linking Figueiro dos Vinhos to Castanheira de Pera.
    It is not yet known what caused the fire, which has also burnt down houses in the area.
    About 60 forest fires broke out across the country overnight, with 1,700 firefighters working to put them out.
    The flames spread “with great violence” on four fronts, Mr Gomes said.
    Spain has sent two water-bombing planes to help tackle the fires.
    It is not yet known what caused the fire, which has also burnt down houses in the area.
    However Mr Costa said dry thunderstorms could have been one possible cause.
    Portugal has been experiencing a heatwave, with temperatures over 40 C in some areas.



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