At least 25 people have been killed in forest fires in central Portugal, many of them trapped in their cars as flames swept over a road, officials said early Sunday.
Interior Ministry official Jorge Gomes said the deaths occurred in the Pedrogao Grande area, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of Lisbon, where some 600 firefighters have been trying to put out the fires since Saturday.
Mr. Gomes said 16 people were killed in their cars on a road between the towns of Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera, and three others died from smoke inhalation in Figueiro dos Vinhos. Quoted from (WSJ).
It is noteworthy that the number of death toll is on the rise.
Televised images showed a huge wall of thick smoke and bright red flames leaping over the top of trees near houses in the wooded region.
“This is a region that has had fires because of its forests, but we cannot remember a tragedy of these proportions,” said Valdemar Alves, mayor of Pedrogao Grande. “I am complete stunned by the number of deaths.”