Reportedly, a wildfire that took place in Portugal’s forests has led to the death of at least 62 people.
Portugal’s Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, has called this massacre, “a dimension of human tragedy that we cannot remember.”
The fire was reported to have started Saturday and was still burning as of Monday afternoon, requiring the attention of around 1,600 firefighters to contain it.
However, the secretary of state for internal administration in Portugal, Jorge Gomes, told reporters that of the 60-plus deaths, more than half of them were due to a lot of people being trapped within a wall of flames, burned alive in their own cars.
Gomes released a statement saying, “Many cars could not get out and people burned to death inside their cars.”
Allegedly, an additional 17 bodies were found near the road, after some speculating that those same people were attempting to flee from their trapped cars before they met their tragic fate.
The emergency reinforcements were sent in by European Union officials, along with police units, and military units, who joined the Portuguese firefighters and a pair of Spanish planes in the effort to stop the inferno.
The European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, asked for the full support for the country during this tragic period.
Styliandes mentioned, “We express our condolences to those that have lost loved ones. The EU is fully ready to help. All will be done to assist the authorities and people of Portugal at this time of need.”
Moreover, an additional support for Portugal has come in from all around the world. Pope Francis reserved time for Portugal during his weekly Sunday prayer. Leaders from several countries, including Spain and India, have also joined Pope Francis in expressing their condolences for those impacted by the wildfire.
The wildfire has had a dramatic effect on operations within central Portugal. Prime Minister Costa claimed schools in the municipalities of Pedrogão, Figueiró, and Castanheira are all set to be closed indefinitely, and any related exams will be postponed until further notice.