Almost 62 people have been killed in a forest fire in central Portugal.
Many of the victims were trapped in their cars as the flames enveloped the road.
Jorge Gomes, Interior Ministry Official, told that the deaths occurred in the Pedrogao Grande area, about 93 miles northeast of Lisbon, and that currently about 600 firefighters are trying to put out the fire over the weekend.
He also said that 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 as a result of smoke inhalation in Figueiro dos Vinhos.
Public broadcaster RTP revealed that about 20 people were injured, including 6 firefighters. Fourteen of the injured received by the hospitals were in a very serious condition.
The Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa described it as “the biggest tragedy of human life that we have known in years.” He said that the Portuguese authorities are still working on identifying the victims and that Spanish rescuers are assisting in efforts to control the blazes.
Images showed on Television have showed a huge wall of bright red flames rising to the top of trees.
Portugal has suffered high temperatures that have reached 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in recent days.
The southern European country is prone to forest fires during dry summer months.
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